Bootcamp BTOR: Lebanon (PFM) Application of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Congress
DATE: June 10, 2015
TIME: 11:30 am
Beirut, June 10-12, 2015
Cleared by Hisham Waly, Practice Manager, PRMM and PSP, GGP
Background & Objective: Under the patronage of his Excellency Minister of Finance Mr. Ali Hassan Khalil, the World Bank (TTL, Rima Koteiche, Sr. Financial Management Specialist) and the Lebanese Association of Certified Public Accountants (LACPA) have organized the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Congress on June 10-12, 2015. An opening ceremony took place on June 9, 2015 preceded the three- days technical training where keynote words were provided by (i) Mariano D’amore, IPSAS board public member, (ii) Pierre Messali, World Bank Senior Public Sector Specialist, (ii) Mr. Elie Abboud, LACPA President, and (iv) His Excellency Mr. Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Finance. The ceremony gathered delegates from local, regional, and international supervisory and regulatory bodies, government officials and corporate leaders, to reflect the IPSAS application and its importance in a public financial management system. The three-day technical training aimed to provide technical learning to staff directly implicated by IPSAS application. This event is part of a larger program that the World Bank has been supporting LACPA to lead the advancement of the profession of accounting and auditing in Lebanon both in the private and the public sector. This event was supported by World Bank team: Amal Chaoul, program assistant for the logistical arrangements, while Joey Ghaleb (Sr. Public Sector Specialist), and Gretchen Biery (Sr. Governance Specialist) assumed the technical coordination with the FMR2 project.
Participants: More than 150 participants attended the technical training. The participants were mainly from MOF, and LACPA that are directly and indirectly involved with IPSAS application and implication.
Content and Delivery: (Attached above agenda, WB keynote and press releases). The three-day technical training included several workshops which addressed the definitions and practical applications of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), specifically regarding:
- Fixed Assets (properties, plant and equipment, service concessions).
- Presentation of the Financial Statements (discussing the cash basis accounting)
- Liabilities (Employee benefits)
- Consolidated Financial Statements (includes comparing the budget prepared on the cash basis to the one prepared on the accrual basis)
- Revenues (particularly Taxes and Grants in IPSAS 23).
- Opening Balance Sheet & Transition to Accrual Accounting (including other countries adoption experiences)
- Financial instruments
The sessions were delivered at the Institute of Finance- Basel Fleihan Institute by Paul Mason, technical manager at IPSAS Board (IPSASB), and Ross Smith, technical manager at IPSAS Board (IPSASB).
Conclusions and key recommendations: Upon explaining IPSAS and its application mechanisms, especially by adopting clear bases and rules for preparing financial statements, in such a way that reinforce the principle of transparency in the administration and expenditure of the public finance, the following suggestions were formed at the conclusion of the Congress:
6. Supporting the guidelines of the Minister of Finance regarding the readiness of the public administrations in order to benefit from the opportunity to develop their systems in a way that is compatible with the International standards, within his vision to develop the work of the public sector institutions.
7. Establishing a global vision along with a work program that includes all the required procedures, steps, time schedule and transitional period to implement such standards.
8. Forming an ad hoc body or committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, LACPA, and the World Bank, in addition to international specialists in the domain in order to establish an executional work plan aiming at preparing the adequate ground for implementing the IPSAS, including but not limited to: preparing such standards to start implementing them while establishing time deadlines for all procedures and suggestions included within the said work plan.
9. Endeavouring to provide necessary professional human resources, equipment and software in order to start the implementation of the standards subject to the congress.
10. The initial commitment by the legislative and executive powers to implement such standards.