Norwalk, CT, September 11, 2003—The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) today issued an Exposure Draft of proposed standards that would enhance and update the supporting information that governments present with their annual financial statements. The proposal, Economic Condition Reporting: The Statistical Section, would revise the statistical section that accompanies a state or local government’s basic financial statements to include more comprehensive government-wide financial information.
The statistical section comprises schedules presenting trend information about revenues and expenses, outstanding debt, economics and demographics, and other subjects. These schedules are intended to provide financial statement users with contextual information to better assess a government’s financial health.
The statistical section would be updated to reflect the significant changes that have taken place in government finance. For instance, governments would report the broad array of debt they now issue in addition to general obligation bonds. The proposal also would replace the current standards, which are oriented toward general purpose local governments, with clearer guidelines that can be implemented by any type of governmental entity.
Although the statistical section is a required part of a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR), state and local governments are not required to prepare a statistical section if they present their basic financial statements in a report other than a CAFR. These circumstances would not be changed by the proposed standard. The proposal would, however, govern any statistical section accompanying a government’s basic financial statements, whether presented in a CAFR or not.
The proposed standards would become effective for periods beginning after June 15, 2005. A list of the schedules that would be required to be included in a statistical section, as well as the disposition of the currently required information, is available at the GASB website.
The Exposure Draft may be obtained by telephoning the GASB Order Department at 800-748-0659 or by placing an order on-line at the GASB website.
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.
Governmental Accounting Standards Board
Improving governmental accountability through better financial reporting