Message from the Chair – April 2017

March 2017 PSAB Meeting

Rod MonetteOur March meeting marks the end of our fiscal year, and with it came approvals of many plans to come. Namely, we approved our 2017-2020 strategic plan and our 2017-2018 work plan, which supports our strategic plan. Both plans will be posted on our website soon.  

We also made progress on key projects and initiatives. 

Concepts Underlying Financial Performance

Working towards approving a statement of principles for the end of the year, we continue to discuss and review the proposed conceptual framework, chapter by chapter. During this meeting we considered key concepts related to recognition, derecognition and measurement. We also discussed whether the recognition exclusions in the current conceptual framework pertaining to natural resources and Crown lands inherited in right of the Crown, all intangibles and works of art and historical treasures remain applicable.

We provided our feedback to the Conceptual Framework Task Force.

Employment Benefits

We received an update on the project, particularly the communication activities and outcomes related to the first invitation to comment issued under this project. We wanted to thank all stakeholders that have provided comments to our Invitation to Comment, “Employment Benefits: Deferral Provisions in Section PS 3250 and PS 3255.” Our next milestone is to issue an invitation to comment on discount rates. 

In light of discussions about this project at a recent meeting of our oversight council, we felt that this would be an appropriate time to review the project plan. We asked staff to consider available options and risks associated with the project timelines. This consideration will be presented at our June 2017 meeting.

Financial Instruments Standard

At our December 2016 meeting, we requested staff to consult with entities that already adopted Section PS 3450, Financial Instruments. Our intention is to understand their implementation experience in order to inform our future decisions on the standard. Staff started to consult with stakeholders, particularly government not-for-profit organizations. Consultations will continue over the next few months. We will receive a report of the consultation in our upcoming meetings.

Public Private Partnerships

We considered a draft statement of principles and discussed the extent of guidance that might be included in relation to the discount rate when present valuing the expected future cash flows to measure a public private partnership asset and liability. 

We provided our feedback to the Public Private Partnership Task Force. We plan to review a revised draft of the statement of principles for approval at our June 2017 meeting.

Stakeholder Survey

We reviewed and discussed the feedback from our 2016 Stakeholder Survey. We thank all stakeholders who participated.

Constructive feedback is important to us. We are on a constant journey to improve and be more responsive to our stakeholders. Survey results will be made public in the near future.

PSA Discussion Group

The Public Sector Accounting (PSA) Discussion Group met on March 15, 2017. Topics discussed include:

  • the role of authority to pay in the recognition of a transfer receivable;
  • the economic substance of a trust and a controlled holding company in applying Section PS 1300, Government Reporting Entity; and
  • applying the foreign currency translation standard to a particular scenario in the financial statements of a government department.

The PSA Discussion Group and PSAB agreed to issue a shorter meeting summary soon after each meeting in response to comments received via our Stakeholder Survey. This shorter summary will replace the longer detailed meeting report starting with the March 15, 2017 meeting.

The next meeting of the PSA Discussion Group will be held on November 17, 2017.

Have Your Voice Heard

PSAB’s Exposure Draft, “Asset Retirement Obligations,” is now available for review and comment. We look forward to considering your views. Please submit your responses by June 15, 2017.

Retiring Members

I would like to thank Mike Ferguson and Russ Jones, PSAB members who completed their terms at the March meeting, for their valuable contributions to standard setting through their service with PSAB over the years.

Rod Monette, FCPA, FCA
Chair, Public Sector Accounting Board