GASB Issues ED on Disclosures About Investment Risks

On July 1, 2002, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released an exposure draft (ED) designed to provide the public with better information about the risks that could potentially impact a government's ability to provide services and pay its debts.

Entitled "Exposure Draft, Deposit and Investment Risk Disclosures," the ED resulted from the first project in GASB's comprehensive review of its existing accounting standards after recent Federal banking reforms.

GASB Project Manager Randal J. Finden explained, "All investments carry some form of risk, and those risks must be communicated to the public in financial statements."

The relevant types of disclosures may include:

  • Financial statement disclosures that cover deposit and investment risks,
  • Credit risk disclosures that include credit quality information issued by rating agencies, and
  • Interest rate disclosures that include investment maturity information, (e.g., weighted average maturities).

GASB's press release explains that the ED amends the custodial credit risk disclosures of GASB Statement No. 3, "Deposits with Financial Institutions, Investments (including Repurchase Agreements), and Reverse Repurchase Agreements."

According to GASB's Web site, the full text of the proposed standard will be available to download approximately one month after the official release date. The effective date of the standard would be for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2004. Comments are requested by September 27, 2002.

-Rosemary Schlank

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