n FASAB has issued Technical Release 8, Clarification of Standard Relating to Inter-Entity Costs, and Technical Release 9, Implementation Guide for Statement of FASAB 29: Heritage Assets and Stewardship Land.
TR8 provides guidance to federal entities on three aspects of full costing specified in SFFAS 4: (1) guidance on costs that should be considered Broad and General for all entities, (2) guidance on Directness of Relationship to the entity’s operations as used in determining if a transaction should be considered material to the receiving entity, and (3) guidance on Identifiability as used in determining if a transaction should be considered material to the receiving entity.
TR9 assists federal entities in reporting information on heritage assets and stewardship land in accordance with SFFAS 29, Heritage Assets and Stewardship Land. It covers materiality considerations; identification, categorization and quantification; assessing and reporting condition; and government-wide reporting.
The technical releases supplement the relevant federal accounting standards, but are not a substitute for and do not take precedence over the accounting standards issued by FASAB They are available at www.fasab.gov. Printed copies are available by calling 202-512-7350.
n GASB issued an exposure draft of a proposed statement, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions, to address inconsistencies in state and local government fund balance reporting. According to GASB research, “fund balance is one of the most widely used pieces of information in state and local government financial statements,” says GASB Chairman Robert H. Attmore. Differences in reporting have led to confusion among preparers and users of financial statements.
The ED establishes clearer fund balance categories and classifications based on the extent to which a government is bound to observe spending constraints imposed upon the use of resources reported in governmental fund balances. It also distinguishes fund balance between amounts that are considered nonspendable (such as fund balance associated with inventories); clarifies definitions of special revenue fund types; and modifies the debt service and capital projects fund types for consistency. Comments on the draft are due by June 30. For more information and to download the draft, go to www.gasb.org/exp/ed_fund_balance_reporting.pdf.
n The SEC issued a report reminding public pension funds of their responsibilities under the federal securities laws, and warning them that they assume a greater risk of running afoul of antifraud and other provisions if they do not have adequate compliance policies and procedures in place to prevent wrongdoing in their money management functions. A copy of the report, issued pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act, is available at www.sec.gov/litigation/investreport/34-57446.htm.
n A GAO study to assess compromises to personal information and long-standing weaknesses in federal information security found that 22 of the 24 major federal agencies surveyed had developed policies requiring encryption of personally identifiable information on mobile computers and devices. Fifteen of the 24 agencies had policies to use a “time-out” function for remote access and mobile devices requiring user reauthentication after 30 minutes of inactivity. Fewer agencies (11) had established policies to log computer-readable data extracts from databases holding sensitive information and erase the data within 90 days after extraction. Several agencies indicated that they were researching technical solutions to address these issues. Gaps in their policies and procedures reduced the ability to protect personally identifiable information from improper disclosure.
The full report is available at www.gao.gov/new.items/d08343.pdf.