836 Summary The PEs had worked continuously to get support for GAAPGFS

836 summary the pes had worked continuously to get

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8.3.6 Summary The PEs had worked continuously to get support for GAAP/GFS harmonisation. By mid-2002, they had ensured broad support from their departmental superiors, HoTs, the Commonwealth Auditor-General and the ABS. At the political level, two main political bodies, JCPAA as well as the SFAPLC were generally supportive of GAAP/GFS harmonisation, even though at this stage they had not given much consideration to the project. During this process the PEs created a new epistemic community that was united by the belief that one GAAP/GFS harmonised standard would satisfy both macro and microeconomic financial reporting objectives for whole of government financial reporting and address existing problems of public sector accounting. Cognitive considerations were more prominently discussed or were more important where technocrats, including organisations such as Treasury and Finance, HoTs and the ABS, were involved. The ANAO and ACA were mostly concerned with the regulatory environment. Normative arguments were more important at the political level, underpinned by a desire by politicians for more transpa rency and ‘easier to read’ financial statements that allowed them to fulfil their obligations as parliamentarians. The PEs were able to cater to the various interests of each forum and to discuss and to frame the project from different aspects. At all fora, however, the data suggests that the PEs were able to normatively frame GAAP/GFS harmonisation as the policy solution
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236 that would improve public sector reporting. As a result, by mid to late 2002s the PEs had successfully coupled the three streams of problems, policy and politics. What was left to do was to convince the decision-makers, who were in the first instance, the AASB, and if this failed, the FRC of the benefits of GAAP/GFS harmonisation. 8.4 COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION AT THE AASB In 2000, the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB) and its staff had been amalgamated into the newly created AASB as a result of CLERP. The first written reference to GAAP/GFS harmonisation was in AASB agenda papers from June 2000 (AASB 2000a, b), which contained a brief history of the project, including a reference to briefings about the project in October 1999. It referred to the “PSASB Consultative Group on the GPFR/GFS harmonisation project being briefed about the project in October 1999”. It conf irmed the awareness of the PSASB that with GAAP reporting, GFS reporting also applied in the public sector. One agenda paper (AASB 2000b, p. 2) noted that: “As requested by the PSASB, AARF staff have continued to liaise with ABS staff since the March 1999 PSASB meeting. The agenda paper further noted that staff of the Australian Accounting Research Foundation (AARF) had promoted the adoption of GAAP reporting to HoTs and the Fiscal Reporting Committee, which had been established to review the UPF during 1998. At that time, however, HoTs decided to continue the use of GFS reporting, after modifying it for accrual principles. According to the agenda paper and interviews with
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  • Fall '13
  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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