Summary of Statement No. 60

Statement No. 60
Accounting and Financial Reporting for Service Concession Arrangements
(Issued 11/10)

The objective of this Statement is to improve financial reporting by addressing issues related to service concession arrangements (SCAs), which are a type of public-private or public-public partnership. As used in this Statement, an SCA is an arrangement between a transferor (a government) and an operator (governmental or nongovernmental entity) in which (1) the transferor conveys to an operator the right and related obligation to provide services through the use of infrastructure or another public asset (a “facility”) in exchange for significant consideration and (2) the operator collects and is compensated by fees from third parties.

This Statement applies only to those arrangements in which specific criteria determining whether a transferor has control over the facility are met. A transferor reports the facility subject to an SCA as its capital asset, generally following existing measurement, recognition, and disclosure guidance for capital assets. New facilities constructed or acquired by the operator or improvements to existing facilities made by the operator are reported at fair value by the transferor. A liability is recognized, for the present value of significant contractual obligations to sacrifice financial resources imposed on the transferor, along with a corresponding deferred inflow of resources. Revenue is recognized by the transferor in a systematic and rational manner over the term of the arrangement.

This Statement also provides guidance for governments that are operators in an SCA. The governmental operator reports an intangible asset at cost for its right to access the facility and collect third-party fees; it amortizes the intangible asset over the term of the arrangement in a systematic and rational manner. For existing facilities, a governmental operator’s cost may be the amount of an up-front payment or the present value of installment payments. For new or improved facilities, a governmental operator’s cost may be its cost of improving an existing facility or constructing or acquiring a new facility.

For revenue sharing arrangements, this Statement requires governmental operators to report all revenues and expenses. A transferor reports its portion of the shared revenues.

This Statement requires disclosures about an SCA including a general description of the arrangement and information about the associated assets, liabilities, and deferred inflows, the rights granted and retained, and guarantees and commitments.

The requirements of this Statement are effective for financial statements for periods beginning after December 15, 2011. The provisions of this Statement generally are required to be applied retroactively for all periods presented.

How the Changes in This Statement Improve Financial Reporting

The requirements of this Statement improve financial reporting by establishing recognition, measurement, and disclosure requirements for SCAs for both transferors and governmental operators, requiring governments to account for and report SCAs in the same manner, which improves the comparability of financial statements. It alleviates the confusion that arises when determining what guidance should be applied in complex circumstances that are not specifically addressed by existing standards. This Statement contributes to the assessment of interperiod equity by reporting up-front payments or the present value of installment payments primarily as deferred inflows of resources, reflecting the acquisition of resources that are applicable to a future reporting period. The provisions of this Statement result in a faithful representation of a governmental operator’s rights under SCAs by reporting rights to access SCA facilities as intangible assets. This Statement also improves the decision usefulness of financial reporting by requiring that specific relevant disclosures be made by transferors and governmental operators about SCAs.

Unless otherwise specified, pronouncements of the GASB apply to financial reports of all state and local governmental entities, including general purpose governments; public benefit corporations and authorities; public employee retirement systems; and public utilities, hospitals and other healthcare providers, and colleges and universities. Paragraph 6 discusses the applicability of this Statement.