Magazine article Government Finance Review

Government Finance in the Trenches: Standing Committees Update

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Government Finance in the Trenches: Standing Committees Update

Article excerpt

More than 175 GFOA members volunteer their time and expertise to be a part of the GFOA's standing committees. Each committee concentrates on a particular discipline within government finance. The members of each committee bring their experience to the table to help craft GFOA recommended practices and policy statements. The issues that they address are those that are important to finance officers and help the GFOA stay on the cutting edge of the profession. All seven of the GFOA's committees met on June 9, 2007, in conjunction with the annual conference in Anaheim. The seven committees are: the Committee on Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (CAAFR), the Committee on Canadian Issues (CCI), the Committee on Cash Management (CASH), the Committee on Economic Development and Capital Planning (CEDCP), the Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy (BUDGET), the Committee on Governmental Debt Management (DEBT), and the Committee on Retirement and Benefits Administration (CORBA).

The committees tackled a variety of issues and trends related to their particular subject matter and in their jurisdictions, discussing topics such as transparency and disclosure of investment fees and administrative expenses charged to defined contribution plans; 'patenting' tax strategies; long-term financial planning; understanding, categorizing, and using economic incentives; creating a sustainable job market; and fraud prevention.

During their meetings, the committees passed 14 recommended practices (RP), as follows:

* Mitigating the Negative Effects of Statement on Auditing Standards No. 112, Communicating Internal Control Related Matters Identified in an Audit (CAAFR) (new)

* Encouraging and Facilitating the Reporting of Fraud and Questionable Accounting and Financial Reporting Practices (CAAFR) (new)

* Revenue Policy (CASH) (new)

* Payment Consolidation Services (CASH) (new)

* Collateralization of Public Deposits (CASH) (revised)

* Accounts Receivable (CASH) (revised)

* Cash Receipts Controls (CASH) (revised)

* Capital Monitoring and Reporting (CEDCP) (new)

* Alternative Service Delivery (Budget) (new)

* Selecting and Managing the Method of Sale of State and Local Government Bonds (DEBT) (revised)

* Ensuring the Sustainability of Other Post Employment Benefits (CORBA) (new)

* Essential Design Elements of Hybrid Retirement Plans (CORBA) (new)

* Essential Design Elements of Defined Contribution Retirement Plans (CORBA) (new)

* Essential Design Elements of Defined Benefit Retirement Plans (CORBA) (new)

The recommended practices will go before the GFOA's Executive Board for approval this fall. Highlights of the other work the committees did are as follows.

CAAFR--In addition to the work spent on the two recommended practices above, the committee is continuing its work to develop an RP on Improving the Timeliness of Financial Reporting. It should also be noted that the just-approved RP, Encouraging and Facilitating the Reporting of Fraud and Questionable Accounting and Financial Reporting Practices, serves as an important companion piece to the 2006 RP, Audit Committees.

In the coming months the CAAFR will lead a joint committee effort to prepare testimony on the forthcoming exposure draft (ED) from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board on Accounting and Financial Reporting for Derivatives and also will work jointly with the Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy to respond to another ED on issues related to governmental fund type definitions and fund balance reporting. The GASB expects to issue both of these documents in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The CAAFR also will respond on the GFOA's behalf to additional due process documents that the GASB expects to issue on intergovernmental financial dependency risk (second quarter of 2008) and an amendment to GASB Concepts Statement No. …

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