The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board said it has achieved its goal of substantial convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards dated Dec. 31, 2008, with a series of new or improved standards.

The IPSASB, which operates under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants, made the announcement at its Dec. 8-11 meeting in Rome. Three of the new standards deal with financial instruments, in terms of presentation, recognition and measurement, and disclosures.

A fourth standard covers intangible assets and an improvements standard makes minor changes to existing International Public Sector Accounting Standards. They are primarily drawn from IFRS, with limited changes dealing with public sector-specific issues. In addition, the board approved an exposure draft covering service concessions.

“In the current global economic environment, when governments are increasingly raising debt through the capital markets as a result of their financial interventions in the private sector, the need for certainty in the application of well-developed financial instruments standards has particular urgency,” said IPSASB chair Mike Hathorn, whose three-year term will be ending later this month. “Achieving convergence is also crucial to enhancing transparency at this time of large scale government interventions.”

The new standards and exposure draft will be available to download free of charge from the IFAC Web site in January 2010.

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