Norwalk, CT, April 6, 2007The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) today announced that it has added a project to its current agenda that could result in suggested guidelines for governments to help them effectively communicate their accomplishments to the public.
Specifically, the project, known as Service Efforts and Accomplishments (SEA) Reporting, will help governments report the measures they develop and use to gauge the outcomes they achieve in pursuit of their public policy goals. For example, if a government has a goal of increasing high school graduation rates, SEA reporting could help the government to inform the public about its progress toward that goal.
More than two decades of GASB research show that SEA reporting provides important information that can help citizens and their elected representatives better assess how well their governments are achieving their public policy missions.
"In the private sector, net income is the bottom line, but in government the bottom line includes the results achieved primarily through the provision of services to the public," said Robert Attmore, GASB chairman. "Helping governments effectively communicate what they believe are their most important accomplishments to constituents has been the focus of the GASB’s research on SEA reporting."
It is important to note that the SEA Reporting project is designed to produce suggested guidelines for voluntary reporting by governments. Accordingly, the GASB does not intend to require governments to report SEA information, nor does it intend to require that governments report specific performance measures or achieve specific levels of performance. Instead, the GASB will consider establishing guidelines that will help government officials communicate performance results that are relevant to their expressed priorities and goals in a manner that the public will find meaningful and understandable.
"As with all GASB projects, any suggested guidelines for voluntary SEA reporting will be developed through a rigorous and open due process that considers the views of all of our constituents and the organizations that represent them," said Chairman Attmore. "We look forward to working with our constituents, including the newly proposed Joint Performance Management Initiative, to develop these guidelines and to get performance information into the hands of the public and other users of government financial reports."
About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization formed in 1984 that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. Its seven members are drawn from the Board's diverse constituency, including preparers and auditors of government financial statements, users of those statements and members of the academic community. More information about the GASB can be found at its website www.gasb.org.