The Governmental Accounting Standards Board reminded its stakeholders Friday that the deadline is coming up on March 6 for comments on its proposed changes in standards for fiduciary responsibilities and lease accounting.

Those who are interested in submitting written comments or participating in public hearings on the GASB’s Preliminary Views on Financial Reporting for Fiduciary Responsibilities or its Preliminary Views on Leases, should file comment letters or register to participate at the hearings by Friday, March 6.

The Preliminary Views on fiduciary responsibilities, which was issued Nov. 20, 2014, presents GASB’s current thinking on fundamental issues associated with the reporting of activities in which a government has a fiduciary responsibility (see GASB Releases Preliminary Views on Lease Accounting and Fiduciary Responsibilities). In this context, fiduciary responsibility generally relates to a government controlling assets belonging to others in a trustee or custodial capacity. The main objective is to enhance the consistency and comparability of when and how governments report their fiduciary activities.

The Preliminary Views on leases, also issued Nov. 20, 2014, addresses these transactions from both a lessee and lessor perspective. The document presents GASB’s current thinking on the associated issues—which are based on the foundational principle that all leases are financings of the right to use an underlying asset. It includes proposals on how leases would be presented in the financial statements and the information related to leases that governments would disclose in the notes.

GASB is urging individuals and organizations to review the two Preliminary Views documents and provide written comments by March 6, 2015. Comments should be addressed to the Director of Research and Technical Activities, Project No. 3-13P (for fiduciary responsibilities) and Project No. 3-24P (for leases), and emailed to or mailed to the following address:

Governmental Accounting Standards Board
401 Merritt 7
P.O. Box 5116
Norwalk, CT 06856-5116

GASB will also host a series of concurrent public hearings on both projects to obtain feedback on the Preliminary Views from interested individuals and organizations:

•    April 8, 2015, 8:30 a.m. EDT, at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, Flushing, N.Y.
•    April 9, 2015, 8:30 a.m. CDT at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel, Irving, Texas
•    April 10, 2015, 8:30 a.m. PDT, at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel, Los Angeles, Calif.

The deadline for written notice of intent to participate in the public hearings is also March 6, 2015. Instruction for registering to participate in the hearings can be found in the front of the Preliminary Views documents.

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