Norwalk, CT, October 1, 2008—In line with its commitment to open and rigorous due process, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) will hold a forum exclusively for external financial statement users and a public hearing to obtain information about the issues discussed in the Request for Response, Suggested Guidelines for Voluntary Reporting of SEA Performance Information. The purpose of the forum and hearing is to obtain feedback from constituents at an early stage of the Board's project to develop guidelines to assist state and local governments that voluntarily choose to report on their service efforts and accomplishments (SEA).
Participation in the forum is open to users of SEA performance information, such as elected officials, legislative staff, citizens or citizen organizations, taxpayer associations, media representatives, and municipal analysts.
Participation in the user forum or public hearing can either be in person or by telephone. Observers are welcome at both the user forum and the hearing.
The deadline for notifying the GASB of an intention to participate in the forum or for submitting written comments and notifying the GASB of an intention to testify at the hearing is October 31, 2008. Notification of an intention to participate in the forum or to testify at the public hearing should be directed to Ragan Vincent (email@example.com or 203-956-5372). Written comments from individuals and organizations intending to testify should be addressed to the Director of Research and Technical Activities, Project No. 20—2, at firstname.lastname@example.org or GASB, 401 Merritt 7, P.O. Box 5116, Norwalk, CT 06856-5116.
The Request for Response, which is available for download from www.gasb.org, proposes suggested guidelines the GASB believes would help state and local governments more effectively communicate SEA performance information. The suggested guidelines include what the GASB has proposed as the four essential components of an effective SEA report and the six qualitative characteristics of SEA performance information. The four components include: purpose and scope, major goals and objectives, key measures of SEA performance, and a discussion and analysis of results and challenges. The six qualitative characteristics, as set forth in Concepts Statement No. 2, Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting, are relevance, understandability, comparability, timeliness, consistency, and reliability.
Individuals and organizations not intending to testify at the public hearing are encouraged to submit written comments, including through an Internet form at www.gasb.org/survey/cgi-bin/searptguide.html. The deadline is October 31.
About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization formed in 1984 that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. Its members are drawn from the Board's diverse constituency, including preparers and auditors of government financial statements, users of those statements, and members of the academic community. More information about the GASB can be found at its website www.gasb.org.