This recommendation was confirmed in two other interviews ACAG Interview

This recommendation was confirmed in two other

This preview shows page 247 - 250 out of 354 pages.

This recommendation was confirmed in two other interviews (ACAG, Interview 10/11/2010; PE A, Interview 18/03/2011). The BEFR recommendations were finalised in October 2002, two months before the FRC issued the strategic direction to the AASB. All PEs and the FRC Chairman mentioned a ‘reformist climate’ that was characterised by encouragement for change by top level bureaucrats within the policy stream and by 61 The Cabinet submissions from 2002 become publicly available only after 30 years.
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234 politicians in the years 2001 and 2002. Two PEs and one other interviewee suggested that this was the result of a new administration following the elections in 2001. One PE and another interviewee noted that Senator Nick Minchin, who became the newly appointed Minister for Finance and Administration in November 2001, was lobbied to support GAAP/GFS harmonisation. One PE also noted that the BEFR was undertaken “when Ian Watts came to Finance”. As demonstrated in the Hansard for the 22 June 2001 Roundtable, cognitive aspects of GAAP/GFS harmonisation were discussed only at a superficial level in the political arena. The analysis of Hansards in relation to public sector issues provide evidence that politicians were indeed confused by the numbers provide in financial statements by Treasury and Finance (see, for example, SFPALC 2001b). Most of the discussions were in the SFPALC, the JPCAA, but also the Senate Economic Legislation Committee (SELC). These committees were most affected by financial statements. There were few discussions about GAAP and GFS reporting. This supports the argument of this thesis, that the PEs were successful in associating existing public sector financial reporting issues to support the policy solution GAAP/GFS harmonisation. The audit of budgets is a good example. This was a recurring proposal at the Commonwealth level, and the Auditor-General had noted that it would be within the capability of his office to perform such an audit. It was not something that had to be addressed by harmonisation. The PEs, however, wanted one set of numbers that would facilitate the audit of budgets. It would also address accusations of politically motivated choices in the preparation of budgets. Political actors were mainly interested in understanding the financial reports that were provided to them to discharge their accountability. As such, normative arguments that emphasised increased transparency and comparability of budget and end-of-year
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235 statements were important. These normative arguments were the basis of the enquiries and reviews. There was no evidence of any consideration of the comparability of financial reports across jurisdictions, future constraints or other issues that would be associated with the development and implementation of a harmonised accounting standard.
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  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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