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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas
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NACUBO Responds to GASB Exposure Drafts

April 18, 2016

On March 31, NACUBO submitted comment letters to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) on two exposure drafts, "Fiduciary Activities"  and "Certain Asset Retirement Obligations."  NACUBO will participate in public testimony this month on "Fiduciary Activities."

Fiduciary Activities

Because public institutions report as Business-Type Activities (BTA)—and do not include fund financial statements—in their general purpose external financial statements, NACUBO has been concerned about pending "fiduciary activity" requirements that would lead to fiduciary fund reporting for all governmental entities, including BTAs. Consequently, NACUBO advocated for an exemption for short-lived fiduciary activities and supported GASB's granting of such an exemption in its exposure draft.

Concerning other types of fiduciary activities for which public colleges and universities (BTAs) will have to report fiduciary funds (e.g., pension trusts or investment pools that contain significant levels of others' investments), NACUBO asked the Board to include a BTA-specific illustration in the final standard. NACUBO also will testify at GASB's April 21 public hearing.

Asset Retirement Obligations

As written, the extent of how various environmental contaminants might impact capital asset retirement activities appeared unclear in GASB's exposure draft. Because public institutions can have buildings in use that contain non-exposed lead or asbestos, NACUBO was concerned that the proposal's ambiguity would lead to uncertainty if a public institution retired certain capital assets. Consequently, NACUBO's letter asked for clarification concerning:

  • An internal obligating retirement event that leads to the retirement of capital assets containing contaminants that are governed by law or regulation.
  • Clarification concerning the breadth of environmental contaminants that are governed by law or regulation.

RESOURCES

NACUBO submits comments on the Exposure Draft of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, "Fiduciary Activities"
NACUBO submits comments on the Exposure Draft of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, "Certain Asset Retirement Obligations" 

Contact

Sue Menditto
Director, Accounting Policy
202.861.2542
E-mail