Magazine article Government Finance Review

Winter Committee Meeting Update

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Winter Committee Meeting Update

Article excerpt

The GFOA held its annual Winter Standing Committee Meetings in February. Five of the six standing committees met in Washington, D.C., on February 15 and 16 to welcome new members and begin discussion and development of recommended practices and policies. The sixth committee, the Committee on Canadian Issues, met in Montreal, Quebec, on February 12.

At the D.C. meetings, committee members heard from a variety of speakers who addressed their committees. They also heard from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Laura Unger during the general session on February 16. Unger discussed regulatory issues such as insider trading of municipal bonds. The following is a summary of the business activities of each committee.

The Committee on Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting (CAAFR) reviewed a potential recommended practice on presenting budget to actual comparisons within the basic financial statements that was developed jointly with the Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Management. The CAAFR agreed to forward the recommended practice to GFOA's Executive Board for their consideration.

The CAAFR also considered what subjects should be considered for future recommended practices. The committee spent much of its meeting discussing what the content of a letter of transmittal in a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) should be given the requirement of GASB Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements--and Management's Discussion and Analysis--for State and Local Governments, for the presentation of management's discussion and analysis as required supplementary information.

During its second annual winter meeting in Montreal, the Committee on Canadian Issues (CCI) began a detailed review of GFOA's Recommended Practices to determine their specific applicability to Canadian governments. The committee also decided to enhance communication among GFOA's Canadian members by issuing a quarterly newsletter, Canadian Finance Matters, which will replace the current Canadian News Service. Committee members agreed to pursue work on a variety of projects through four separate task forces in preparation for the CCI's June meeting, which will be held in conjunction with GFOA's annual conference in Chicago.

The Committee on Cash Management began its meeting by entering into its regular "Dialogue with Ex-Officios," during which GFOA Executive Board members assigned to the committee led a discussion about Executive Board activities and took comments and questions from committee members. The committee also approved revisions to several existing recommended practices and approved a new recommended practice on the use of lockbox services. Revisions to GFOA's Considerations for Governments in Developing a Master Repurchase Agreement were approved, and the committee made plans to update the collateralization publication and examine investment procedures for governmental entities, as well as draft several recommended practices for the June 2000 committee meeting. Speakers on hedge funds and financial services reform addressed the committee, and committee members received a legislative update from GFOA staff.

The Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Management joined the CAAFR Committee in recommending the adoption of a GFOA Recommended Practice on Budget to Actual Comparisons Within the Basic Financial Statements. …

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