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Monday, September 15, 2008

FASAB Releases Exposure Draft on Fiscal Sustainability Reporting

The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) has released an exposure draft called, Reporting Comprehensive Long-Term Fiscal Projections for the U.S. Government. One of FASAB's federal financial reporting objectives--the stewardship objective--includes enabling readers to determine whether future budgetary resources will likely be sufficient to sustain public services and to meet obligations as they come due. FASAB Chairman Tom Allen noted that "the question of the long-term fiscal sustainability of U.S. government services may be among the most important questions of our time. The board believes that fully meeting the stewardship objective requires non-traditional approaches to complement and enrich the information from the federal government's balance sheets and operating statements. The proposed reporting will include information about projected trends in the federal budget deficit or surplus and the federal debt and how t hese amounts relate to the national economy."

Comments on the exposure draft are requested by Jan. 5, 2009 and a public hearing will be held on Feb. 25, 2009. Paper copies are available by calling 202.512.7350.

Since the objective of the proposed reporting is not only to provide information that is useful and necessary in assessing fiscal sustainability, but also to effectively communicate the information in way that is meaningful and understandable to readers, FASAB is particularly interested in receiving comments from the public.

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