GASB Goes West for New Member
To replace retiring Barbara Henderson of California, the GASB has once more turned to the Pacific Coast. Richard C. Tracy, director of audits for the city of Portland, Oregon, will join the board July 1. He brings with him a history of committee work, serving currently as chairman of the GAO's Government Auditing Standards Advisory Council and formerly as president of the National Association of Local Government Auditors and a member of the Government Finance Officers Association committee on accounting, auditing and financial reporting.
Richard Tracy brings performance measurement expertise to the GASB.
(PHOTO BY: BRETT K. PATTERSON/BLACK STAR)
The Journal spoke to Tracy about some of the key government accounting issues he expects to address in the short and long term. "Of course, I'm looking forward to helping complete the government financial reporting model," he said, referring to an issue that's been on the GASB's agenda for years. "It's rapidly coming to a close, but there will be implementation issues to address for several years." Other immediate issues, he said, included note disclosures and accounting for post-employment benefits, such as pensions and health care.
In the future, Tracy hopes the GASB will look at financial condition indicators: For example, "The health of a government entity—what signs do we look for to make a judgment about it?" The topic that's really near and dear to him, however, is performance measures. "Better public accountability requires looking beyond the finances to the whole picture of how an entity is doing." Tracy frequently writes and speaks about the topic.
Although the GASB is based in Norwalk, Connecticut, Tracy will continue to hold his job in Portland—except for the chairman, all GASB members work part-time.