JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is in the implementation phase of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
  • These are a set of accounting principles issued by the IPSAS Board for use by public-sector entities around the world in the preparation of financial statements.
  • Adoption of IPSAS by governments improves both the quality and comparability of financial information reported by public-sector entities.

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is in the implementation phase of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

These are a set of accounting principles issued by the IPSAS Board for use by public-sector entities around the world in the preparation of financial statements.

Adoption of IPSAS by governments improves both the quality and comparability of financial information reported by public-sector entities.

Director of Operations, Systems and Procedures in the Ministry, Barrington Thomas, told JIS News that the system serves to ensure that the Government is practising proper public financial management by providing a set of standards that indicate how to record, recognise and measure transactions, as well as how to classify assets.

He noted that implementation of IPSAS serves to improve transparency as it allows citizens to have access to information that they would not generally have had before.

He said that persons will be able to have full information on how the tax dollars are being spent.

“When financial statements are produced, there is [a section] that gives the additional information as to what is happening in a way that the public can understand. It goes a far way in reducing the perception of corruption,” he noted.

Mr. Thomas said implementation of the IPSAS “It is a whole change in the way Government works”.

“With the change in accounting globally and the need for transparency, it really drives us to adopt a standard that has been tested, proven, and can be compared with others.

“IPSAS gives a global assurance that your accounting is good and fair, and that proper financial management is being practised,” he pointed out.

The Central Government is in the process of adopting cash IPSAS, and acquiring the relevant accounting processes.

At the local Government level, an assessment of the financial systems and adoption of accrual accounting are being undertaken.

Mr. Thomas told JIS News that IPSAS is part of a larger process of reform, which will require some legislative amendments, as well as reforms to the financial systems.

He said that training of public-sector workers will be required. Already the training of trainers in the use of the system has begun.

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