There was almost no evidence of consideration of costs or dependency on

There was almost no evidence of consideration of

This preview shows page 242 - 244 out of 354 pages.

There was almost no evidence of consideration of costs or dependency on international standard setting bodies. A number of interviewees referred to government inquiries and argued that GAAP/GFS harmonisation was supported by politicians. The first two reports of the SFPALC did not mention any issues related to GAAP and GFS reporting. The third report published in November 2000 emphasised issues about the different scope of budgetary portfolio reporting and financial statements and the difficulties in linking such statements to whole of government reports (SFPALC 2001a, paragraph 5.11). The report included a number of issues that were mentioned in Challen and Jeffery (2003), including a variety of bottom line numbers provided in differing reports and press releases. The report, however, did not associate these with the dual reporting regime, but with the
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229 presentation format on either a functional basis or an output/outcome basis (SFPALC 2001a, paragraphs 3.34-3.37). The report suggested that: “In this report, the committee has not considered the question of the accounting standards mandated for the public accounts. The matter received very little coverage in the estimates hearings. […] While the harmonisation of public and private sector accounting standards and the role of DOFA in ensuring consistency in whole-of-government accounts are significant topics in their own right, they are too broad for the commit tee to address in this context.” (SFPALC 2001a, paragraph 3.38) These issues were, however, discussed in the review of the accrual budget documentation at the JCPAA. All PEs were aware of the importance of the JCPAA. They referred to the JCPAA in the context of political/government support for GAAP/GFS harmonisation. PE A recalled: “[PE B] and I went to the JCPAA, I lobbied them for support and my message to all of them was, we have got a kind of a reporting magnet, you know? We have got a Treasurer and a Government who has decided to prepare their budgets, aggregates on one basis, but we have introduced an accounting standard to try and run reporting at the individual department level and they are not the same. […] And the benefit of the JCPAA is it’s a joint house, it’s a joint committee of both the senate and the house and of all the major parties. So it’s a very powerful voice [emphasis added], you know and so they wrote to the FRC saying there is a problem and we think this should be fixed.” The Review into the Accrual Budget Documentation by JCPAA was conducted between 2000 and 2002. It was advertised in April 2001 and received 21 submissions, including follow-up submissions after the roundtable hearing on 22 June 2001. Only CPA Australia’s subm ission remarked on the desire for greater harmonisation between GAAP and GFS. The letter was signed by the National President, who was also a State Auditor-General and member of ACAG. The submission of Finance included a comment about differences between GAAP and GFS numbers, but did not make any recommendations or suggestions about how these differences might be a problem or should be addressed (Finance 2001).
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