Public Sector Accounting Board
Statement of Operating Procedures
(Revised and adopted by the Public Sector Accounting Board on September 27, 2016 and ratified by the Accounting Standards Oversight Council on February 24, 2017)
- This Statement of Operating Procedures has been developed and adopted by the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) in accordance with its Terms of Reference. PSAB applies the procedures set out below in carrying out its responsibilities, subject to such input as the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) may provide.
Strategic and Operating Plans
- PSAB develops long-term strategic plans and applies such plans in working to achieve the objectives and fulfill the responsibilities in its Terms of Reference. Strategic plans are developed through due process and in consultation with AcSOC. Strategic plans address the differing needs of the different categories of reporting entities for which PSAB establishes financial reporting standards.
- PSAB’s strategic plan forms the basis for the annual operating plans to be submitted to AcSOC and the annual performance reports on which AcSOC bases its assessment of PSAB’s performance. Annual operating plans specify how PSAB’s strategy for each category of reporting entity will be carried out for that year. PSAB’s plans incorporate a basis for assessing whether its activities have been successful in achieving desired outcomes.
- PSAB reports annually to AcSOC on its performance in fulfilling its mission, meeting its objectives and carrying out its strategic and operating plans.
- PSAB follows an ongoing risk management process in developing and carrying out strategic and operating plans.
- PSAB normally meets at least four times per year and schedules such additional meetings as are necessary to achieve its objectives. PSAB publishes in advance a schedule of planned meetings for each operating year.
- PSAB may hold meetings in person or by telephone, videoconference or other similar means.
- A quorum at any PSAB meeting is two-thirds of all members.
- PSAB normally conducts its meetings in private but may, at its discretion, invite non-members to attend and participate in its discussions or open its discussions to the public.
- Each member of PSAB, including the Chair, has one vote. For matters requiring only a simple majority of all members, the Chair has an additional vote if required to break a tie.
- PSAB members serve in their personal capacity. Accordingly, substitutions are not accepted. PSAB members vote according to their own beliefs, experience and judgment based on the information they have and the discussions they have taken part in, and not according to the views of any firm, organization or constituency with which they are associated..
- Individual votes are kept confidential.
- An affirmative vote of two-thirds of all PSAB members is required for the following decisions:
(a) To approve a project proposal or to approve the discontinuance of a project. (b) To approve for issuance a discussion paper, statement of principles, post-implementation review document or other similar due process document. (c) To forgo exposure of a proposed standard, in unusual circumstances and for a stated reason or reasons. (d) To forgo re-exposure of a proposed standard that has been significantly changed as a result of exposure draft comments, for a stated reason or reasons. (e) To release an exposure draft or approve a standard, including a revision to an existing standard and a consequential amendment to another standard. (f) To issue a Basis for Conclusions document.
- The affirmative vote of a simple majority of all PSAB members is required for all other decisions, including the following:
(a) To adopt a position on a specific issue within a discussion paper, a statement of principles, an exposure draft or a standard. (b) To determine whether a proposed standard has been significantly changed as a result of exposure draft comments.
- Members present for the discussion of an issue but absent when a vote is taken in a meeting may vote subsequently.
- All votes taken in PSAB meetings are documented in the minutes. The minutes constitute proper evidence of PSAB’s decisions.
- A written ballot process may be carried out to approve the final wording of material approved in principle in a meeting. Voting is done by ballot in paper or electronic form according to PSAB’s Due Process Procedures. The ballots constitute proper evidence of PSAB’s decisions in such circumstances.
- All decisions to issue, amend or withdraw a standard are confirmed by a written ballot.
- PSAB adopts and applies PSAB’s Due Process Procedures in developing or adopting financial reporting standards and guidance. PSAB’s Due Process Procedures are made available to the public, and are reviewed no later than three years after the completion of the previous review. In developing financial reporting standards and guidance, PSAB undertakes research, discussions and public consultations to maintain the objectivity of the process and the quality of the output.
- PSAB adopts and applies a policy for maintaining a public file of key documents for completed standard-setting and recommended practices projects.
- PSAB adopts and applies a policy setting out the basis on which it may create other groups (committees, task forces, advisory groups or other groups), including committees of its own members, to assist it in carrying out its work. PSAB has not been given the ability under its Terms of Reference to delegate its decision-making authority to other groups and, therefore, may create such groups with a mandate only to provide advice.
- PSAB provides Terms of Reference to all groups affiliated with it. Amongst other matters, such Terms of Reference specify:
(a) the purpose, objectives and responsibilities of the group; and (b) the size and composition of membership, including the desired mix of members’ backgrounds, and the terms of appointment.
- PSAB approves the appointment of the Chairs of all groups it creates.
- Appointments of members of all groups affiliated with PSAB are approved by the Chair of PSAB and the Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards in consultation with the Chair of the group.
- PSAB and all of its committees and affiliated groups are supported by the Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards and such other staff as required.
- PSAB informs stakeholders and the general public concerning its activities. In particular, PSAB publishes its meeting dates, agendas, decision summaries and other project-related information, strategic and annual operating plans, and annual performance reports. The principal means of communication is through the posting of information and documents on PSAB’s website.
- PSAB develops and implements a communications plan setting out goals and objectives, opportunities and challenges, target audiences, available media and specific actions to improve communications with key stakeholder groups.
- PSAB’s working language is English but published materials are provided in both English and French. PSAB receives and considers comment letters in either language on its published proposals.
- All financial reporting standards, recommended practices and exposure drafts are published simultaneously in both English and French versions.
- PSAB adopts and apply policies for the translation of published materials to ensure high quality.
- PSAB contributes to the development of high-quality internationally accepted financial reporting standards by steps such as:
(a) responding to selected IPSASB invitations to comment on discussion papers and exposure drafts; (b) assisting Canadian stakeholders in communicating with the IPSASB; (c) sponsoring and participating in IPSASB roundtables and conferences; (d) disseminating information to Canadian stakeholders about IPSASB activities; (e) identifying qualified Canadians as candidates for membership on IPSASB and its related groups; and (f) providing staff support to International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) projects.
- PSAB uses its working relationships with international standard setters to ensure that it considers global best practices in developing its financial reporting standards and other guidance.
- PSAB’s operating year ends on March 31 in each calendar year.
- PSAB adopts and applies a policy for keeping meeting materials and information confidential, unless PSAB decides to release a particular document or information to the public. This policy does not prohibit PSAB members and staff from consulting with interested parties concerning matters discussed in meeting materials. In this connection, they may provide a copy of pertinent PSAB documents to the interested parties, provided those materials remain subject to the requirement for confidentiality and other conditions of PSAB’s policy and it is made clear that they have not necessarily been approved by PSAB.
Liaison with Other Standard Setters
- PSAB maintains liaison relationships with other accounting standard setters in support of its objectives, with particular emphasis on the relationship with the Accounting Standards Board and IPSASB.
- PSAB adopts and applies a policy for carrying out an annual self-assessment for the purposes of identifying areas for improvements in operating policies and practices and reporting to AcSOC.