The International Public Sector Accounting Standards board is looking for input on public sector accounting for “heritage items” – assets that are meant to be preserved for their rarity, cultural value or other significance.

The board has released a consultation paper, Financial Reporting for Heritage in the Public Sector, and is looking for comments. It suggests that, despite their “special characteristics,” heritage items – such as historical or natural sites, or unique architectural specimens, among many others – should still be considered assets for the purposes of financial reporting, which may mean that they may need to be recognized in the statement of financial position, and possibly assigned a monetary value.

”There is currently a variety of financial reporting practices for heritage items, which reduces the comparability of public sector entities’ general purpose financial reports,” said IPSASB Chair Ian Carruthers in a statement. “Many public sector entities have heritage responsibilities and this consultation paper is a first step toward developing financial reporting guidance to support accountability and decision making in this area. We look forward to receiving constituents’ views on our proposals.”

The paper is available on the IPSASB Web site; comments can be submitted their until Sept. 30.

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