The sovereign debt crisis has underlined the need for more rigorous, transparent and comparable reporting of fiscal data. Council Directive 2011/85/EU (the Budgetary Frameworks Directive) sets out the rules on Member State budgetary frameworks necessary to ensure compliance with the Treaty obligation to avoid excessive government deficits. In this context it requested the Commission to assess the suitability of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for the Member States.
The European Commission has forwarded its assessment to the Council and European Parliament. The report, which is accompanied by a staff working document, is based on information received through consultations with Commission services, international organisations, Member States’ experts and other interested parties. It concludes that, even if IPSAS cannot be implemented in EU Member States as it stands currently, the IPSAS standards represent an indisputable reference for potential development of European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS), based on a strong EU governance system.
For the full text of the report, the staff working document and the supporting study see:
A Conference was held on 29-30 May 2013 in Brussels at which Mr Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-fraud, brought together high-level stakeholders and decision makers from public sector accounting, auditing and statistics to discuss the future development of harmonised government accounting standards in Europe.
Following the keynote speech of Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council. the conference discussed the importance of developing economic governance in the context of the current economic situation and the need for transparent and comparable fiscal data and underlying public accounts. It also covered key issues for accounting harmonisation in the EU and examples of the experience of some countries in modernising their public sector accounting and financial reporting. The conference concluded with a roundtable on lessons learned, best practices and the next steps to be taken.