WASHINGTON Jan 8 The U.S. board that sets
accounting standards for state and local governments on Tuesday
approved new protocols on reporting mergers and transfers of
operations that are specifically tailored to the public sector.
The new rules "will improve accounting for mergers and
acquisitions among state and local governments by providing
guidance specific to the situations and circumstances
encountered within the governmental environment," Robert
Attmore, chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards
Board, said in a statement.
Historically, governments have used "guidance intended for
the private-sector business environment, which proved
problematic because those standards focus on stock arrangements
and ownership interests not present in the governmental
setting," he added.
Unlike in the private sector, government mergers can occur
"without the exchange of significant consideration" such as a
payment, said GASB, an independent and not-for-profit board made
up of those who prepare, audit and use government financial
The text of the new standards will be available on the
board's website next month.
They are intended to help define whether a government
combining with another is a merger, acquisition or transfer of
operations. They also provide methods to measure the assets,
resources and liabilities involved in the combinations and how
to report government operations that have been transferred.