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IP/06/1247

Brussels, 22 September 2006

Commission and European Federation of Accountants co-host Public Sector Accounting Conference

The European Commission and European Federation of Accountants (FEE) are jointly organising on the Thursday 28th of September in the building of the European Parliament in Brussels a one-day conference “Modernising accounting in the Public Sector – Exchange of Experience”. The conference will discuss the public sector’s progress in implementing accrual accounting. Among prominent speakers are: EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget Dalia Grybauskaite, president of the FEE David Devlin and Brian Gray, the European Commission’s Accountant and Deputy Director General of DG Budget. A specific press briefing for attending journalists will be organised half-way through the conference to enable them to put questions to key delegates from the Commission, the FEE and the International Public Sector’s Accounting Standards Board

The European Commission has now completed its first full year of implementation of accrual accounts, which are more accurate and efficient thantraditional cash accounting. EC is now firmly on course to a world class system of financial reporting. According to the OECD, Only a few countries (US, UK, France, Finland, Sweden, Greece, New Zealand and Canada) are using, so far, accrual basis for consolidated financial statements in public sector while Canada, Iceland and Italy use accrual basis with some elements on cash basis.

EU accounting system registers around 1,45 million payments a year - a switch to accrual accounting brings many benefits: full view of assets and liabilities, enhanced reporting performance, more effective management and decision making, minimised risk of errors in payments to beneficiaries.

“An accounting reform is a highly political priority for the Commission as it aims at increasing financial transparency and accountability toward the EU tax payers” – commented Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite.

The aim of the Conference will be to identify how Member States and the European Commission are progressing in implementing accrual accounting, exchange experience and best practice, share ways of overcoming potential problems and to discuss practical and technical issues.
Registration is compulsory. Interested journalists are invited to register at the following web address:

https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fmi/iwp/cgi?-db=ComptPubliq2006&-loadframes 

Annex: full programme

Joint European Commission/FEE Conference

Modernising Accounting in the Public Sector:

Exchange of Experience

Brussels, 28 September 2006

Programme

28 September 2006

09:15
Coffee
09:45
Introduction from Chair Caroline Mawhood, Chair FEE Public Sector Committee
09:50
Keynote Speech: Dalia Grybauskaitė, Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget
10:00
Welcome from David Devlin, President of FEE, European Federation of Accountants
10:10
Implementation of Accrual Accounting
  • Principles of Accrual Accounting in National Governments: Prof. Rowan Jones, Chairman of the CIGAR network
  • Experience of the European Commission: Brian Gray, Deputy Director General, EC-DG Budget
  • Experience of France: Nathalie Morin, Head of Services of the Public Accounting General Directory of the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry
  • Accounting Reform in German Governments:
    Prof. Klaus Lueder
11:30
Coffee
12:00
12:40
International Public Sector Accounting Standards Setting: Philippe Adhémar, Chair of IFAC IPSASB
Results of FEE Survey: Bryan Ingleby, member of FEE Public Sector Committee
13:00
Lunch Buffet

Lunch time Press Conference:

Questions to:

Brian Gray, Deputy Director General, EC-DG Budget
Caroline Mawhood, Chair FEE Public Sector Committee
Philippe Adhémar, Chair of IFAC IPSASB (TO BE CONFIRMED)

14:30
Workshops

A: Accounting Principles: Issues and Challenges in Transposition of IPSAS into national and international Public Sector Accounting
Chair of Workshop: Thomas Mueller-Marques Berger, Member of FEE Public Sector Committee
Speakers:
  • Jayantilal M. Karia, Chairman of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Accounting Standards and Director of the Accountants Division, UN
  • John Stanford, Senior Technical Manager, IPSASB, International Federation of Accountants
  • Derek Dunphy, EC DG Budget
  • Lionel Vareille, Deputy Head of the Accounting Standards Department, General Directorate for State Modernisation, French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry

Issues for discussion:
  • Practical Challenges in Applying Specific IPSAS to specific public sector environments
  • Heritage Assets
  • Pensions
  • Service Concessions

B: Empowering the Organisation to ensure the Reliability of the Accounting Data
Chair of Workshop: Rea Georgiou, member of FEE Public Sector Committee
Speakers:
  • Martin Sinclair, Assistant Auditor General, National Audit Office
  • Rosa Aldea, EC DG Budget
  • Nathalie Morin, France
  • Gunta Medna, Deputy Treasurer of Latvia

Issues for discussion:
  • Practical Implementation and Experience
  • Responsibility for the Quality of Data and Signing-off the Accounts
  • Internal Control
  • IT – Training - Communication
  • Auditing

C: Lessons Learned and Added Value of Modernisation of the Public Accounting for Public Sector Management
Chair of Workshop: Ciaran Spillane, Designated Director, EC-DG Budget
Speakers:
  • David Watkins, Head Financial Reporting Policy, HM Treasury, UK
  • Ludo Goubert, Financial Controller, NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency
  • Prof. Stefano Zambon, Director, International Research Centre on the Management of Public Administrations (CIRAMAP), University of Ferrara (Italy)
  • Jim Libbey, Executive Director, Financial Systems Authority, Office of the Comptroller General, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Issues for discussion:
  • Added Value of Accrual Accounting for public management
  • Benefits of Accrual Budgeting
  • Different Bases of Budgeting and Accounting
  • Differences between Public Sector Accounting and Private Sector Accounting
16:15
Break
16:30
Introduction from Chair Brian Gray
16:35
Feedback from workshops
17:00
Summary by Chairs Brian Gray/Caroline Mawhood
17:15
Closing Speech: Jacques Potdevin, incoming FEE President

Conference close


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