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International Sustainability Standards
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) issued its inaugural standards – IFRS S1 ‘General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial information’ and IFRS S2 ‘Climate-related Disclosures’. These standards are designed to ensure that companies provide sustainability-related information alongside financial statements – in the same reporting package. The standards have been developed to be used in conjunction with any accounting requirements.
The standards are effective from 1 January 2024, but it will be for individual jurisdictions to decide whether and when to adopt.
The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) is currently assessing the application of S1 and S2 in Australia and is planning to issue an exposure draft for comment in October 2023.
In August, the International Auditing and Accounting Standards Board (IAASB) released the exposure draft on Proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance 5000 ‘General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements and Proposed Conforming and Consequential Amendments to Other IAASB Standards’ for comments. The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) has released a consultation paper ‘Exposure of the IAASB’s Proposed ISSA 5000 General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements; and Proposed Conforming and Consequential Amendments to Other IAASB Standards’ to seek feedback on the IAASB’s exposure draft.
NSW Treasury Pronouncements
The NSW Treasury has issued the following pronouncements:
NSW Treasury has released TPG 23-21 ‘Determining the present value of a provision’ to provide consistency and comparability across the NSW Public Sector and the Total State Sector Accounts when determining the present value of a provision.
The TPG specifies the source of the discount rate, inflation rate and wage growth to ensure consistency across NSW Government agencies for determining the present value of provisions. Agencies should note that the factors may need to be extrapolated, interpolated or modified if necessary to reflect entity-specific risks or circumstances.
Agencies are required to use the following specified factors as the bases for the economic assumptions applied to determine present value of a provision:
- discount rate is to be based on the market yield on Commonwealth government bonds as published by the Reserve Bank of Australia. See Capital Market Yields – Government Bonds – Daily (Table F2) at https://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/
- inflation rate is to be based on the forecasts for Sydney consumer price index as set out in the NSW economic performance and outlook in the most recent NSW Budget Statement (Budget Paper No 1) 1 at www.budget.nsw.gov.au
- wage increase rate is to be based on the forecasts wage price index as set out in the NSW economic performance and outlook in the most recent NSW Budget Statement (Budget Paper No 1) 1 at www.budget.nsw.gov.au.
Table F2 contains market yields on Commonwealth government bonds for periods up to 10 years. Treasury recommends that the 10-year bond yield can be used to discount provisions where it can be clearly demonstrated the impact of discounting is not material to the agency. Agencies should contact Accounting Policy (email@example.com) for guidance for provisions longer than 10 years, where the impact of discounting is material.
The TPG withdraws and replaces TC 11-17 ‘Determining the present value of a provision without substantively changing its content’. There is a change in the source of the discount rate for not-for profit agencies due to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) no longer publishing the table previously referred to in TC 11-17.
- lists the annual reporting requirements that are mandatory, recommended and optional
- collates all the other annual reporting requirements from the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act), its associated regulations, Treasurer’s Directions, other legislation and policies. A checklist of the annual reporting requirements is listed in Appendix 1 of the TPG.
Agencies may also be required by other legislation to include additional information in their annual reports.
These requirements apply to annual reports prepared under the GSF Act after 1 July 2023, including annual reports prepared for the financial year ending 30 June 2023 (or calendar year ending 31 December 2023 where applicable (for example, universities)).
Agencies required to prepare annual reports
Financial year 2022-23 (or calendar year 2023 where applicable (e.g. universities))
Accountable authorities of agencies listed in Schedule 2 of the Government Sector Finance Regulation 2018 (GSF Regulation) must prepare annual reporting information in accordance with GSF Act requirements.
Financial year 2023-24 (or calendar year 2024 where applicable (e.g. universities)) and beyond
Accountable authorities of all reporting GSF agencies (as defined in section 7.3 of the GSF Act) will be required to prepare annual reporting information unless excluded by the GSF Regulation or Treasurer’s Directions.
NSW Treasury has advised that, in addition to the financial reporting exemptions in Division 2 of the GSF Regulation, by 1 July 2024, it will develop, in consultation with the sector, a risk-based exemption framework to determine which reporting GSF agencies will not be required to prepare annual reports for the FY23-24 (or calendar year 2024).
Universities and their controlled entities are treated as both GSF agencies and reporting GSF agencies for the purposes of Division 7.2 (financial reporting) and Division 7.3 (annual reporting) of the GSF Act, and for the purposes of the TPG.
Climate related disclosures
The mandatory requirements for climate-related disclosures disclosed in the GSF Regulation and mentioned in Table 4 of the TPG will only apply from 1 July 2025 (that is, from financial year 2024-25 or calendar year 2025 (where applicable e.g., universities)).
Treasury has requested agencies to defer climate-related disclosures in annual reports, unless required by specific legislative provisions, or until such time as NSW Treasury issues sector-wide guidance.
If reporting GSF agencies include climate-related reporting in their annual reporting information for 2022-23, they must also include a disclaimer that recognises that this disclosure is an early adoption based on best endeavours. Recommended wording for the disclaimer is included in the TPG.
The purpose of TPG 23-19 is to:
- improve the transparency and consistency of Community Service Obligations (CSO) arrangements
- ensure the government’s policy objectives are achieved without impacting on the commercial performance of government businesses
- outline the process for establishing, funding, reviewing and monitoring CSOs.
The guidelines apply to those departments that commission and fund CSOs and those government businesses who implement CSOs on behalf of the departments.
NSW Treasury has issued a minor revision to TPP 20-08 to remove annexure J, replacing it with references to Schedule 2 of the GSF Regulation.
This policy applies to agencies listed in Schedule 2 of the GSF Regulation excluding State Owned Corporation, universities and controlled entities of the universities.
‘Guidance on the Impact of the Delayed 2023-24 NSW State Budget on the Consideration of Going Concern’
This guidance provides NSW Treasury’s views on the impact of the deferral of the 2023-24 NSW State Budget and the related Appropriation Bill, on the appropriateness of adopting the going concern concept in preparing agency financial reports.
TD 23-11 sets out the principles, requirements, and procedures to be applied or followed by GSF agencies and the accountable authorities for those agencies when preparing annual reporting information in accordance with Division 7.3 of the GSF Act.
The Direction applies to the following GSF agencies and to the accountable authorities for those agencies:
- from 1 July 2023 to the end of 30 June 2024, transitional reporting GSF agencies as defined in clause 9I(2) of the GSF Regulation, being the reporting GSF agencies specified in Schedule 2, Part 1 or Part 2 of the GSF Regulation (see Government Sector Finance Amendment (Annual Reporting Requirements) Regulation 2023).
- from the beginning of 1 July 2024, reporting GSF agencies unless excluded by or under the GSF Regulation or Treasurer’s Direction
- former reporting GSF agencies.
Universities are treated as both GSF agencies and reporting GSF agencies for the purposes of this Direction.
Office of Local Government issued End of Year Reporting Requirements for 2022-23
The Office of Local Government (OLG) issued Circular 23-10 ‘End of Year Reporting Requirements for 2022-23 and Additional Information for 2023-24’, which provides end of year financial reporting information for:
- 2022-23 including the annual report checklist
- financial data return (FDR)
- Financial Assistance (FA) Grant returns
- 2023-24 permissible income working papers
- calendar of compliance.
Councils and joint organisations (JOs) need to review the end of year financial reporting information in annexures 1 and 2 when submitting their financial statements and FDR.
Audit Office of New South Wales
Margaret Crawford, Auditor-General for New South Wales – presentations, attendances and interviews
|NSW Parliament||Members Development Session||Presentation||21 August 2023|
|Institute of Public Administration Australia||Garran Oration||Speech||18 August 2023|
|NSW Parliament, Legislative Assembly||Public Accounts Committee Planning Day||Attendance||9 August 2023|
|NSW Parliament, Legislative Assembly||Public Accounts Committee Briefing||Attendance||7 August 2023|
|CEDA||The 2023 Trust Barometer: navigating a polarised world||Attendance||27 July 2023|
|Audit Office of New South Wales||Local Government sector Audit, Risk and Improvement committee chairs forum||Hosted||20 July 2023|
|Financial Reporting and Accounting Committee||Board meeting||Chair||10 July 2023|
|CEDA||The Voice to Parliament: what it is and what it isn’t||Attendance||6 July 2023|
|Jeff Whalan Learning Group||Maple Executive Learning Group||Attendance||3-4 July 2023|
|ACAG||Business meeting*||Attendance||29-30 June 2023|
Auditor-General’s reports to Parliament
|Report||Type of report||Report Date|
|Regional, rural and remote education||Performance audit||10 August 2023|
Australian update – Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB)
Topics discussed included:
AASB Meeting Highlights – 13-14 September 2023
- Not-for-profit (NFP) private framework (Tier 3)
- climate-related financial disclosure
- international tax return (pillar two) – Tier 2 amendment
- IFRS 9 impairment PIR
- Frameworks for setting Australian sustainability reporting standards
- PIR process and NFP domestic PIRs – income of NFP entities
- research update
- financial reporting
- sustainability reporting.
AASB Meeting Highlights – 8 August 2023
- NFP private framework (Tier 3)
- climate-related financial disclosure
- approach to IFRS 1 baseline
- approach to non-authoritative guidance accompanying IFRS S1 and IFRS S2
- approach to IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 baseline
- approach to IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 – NFP considerations
- sustainability reporting – update on international and jurisdictional perspectives.
|Name||Type of document||Publication date|
|AASB 2023-4 Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – International Tax Reform – Pillar Two Model Rules: Tier 2 Disclosures||Standard||25 September 2023|
|Exposure Draft ED 326 Annual Improvements to Australian Accounting Standards – Volume 11||Exposure draft||25 September 2023|
|Exposure draft – ISSB ED Proposed IFRS Taxonomy – IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Taxonomy||Exposure draft||27 July 2023|
|ITC 54 Post-implementation Review of AASB 1056 Superannuation Entities and Interpretation 1019 The Superannuation Contributions Surcharge||Post-implementation review||11 July 2023|
|ED 325 International Tax Reform – Pillar Two Model Rules – Tier 2 Disclosures||Exposure draft||7 July 2023|
|ITC 53 Request for Comment on IASB Request for Information on Post-implementation Review of IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers||Request for comment||5 July 2023|
|AASB 2023-1 Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – Supplier Finance Arrangements*||Standard||29 June 2023|
International Update – International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
Topics discussed included:
IASB Meeting Highlights – 19-21 September 2023
- business combination under common control
- joint session: disclosure initiative – subsidiaries without public accountability: disclosures & business combinations – disclosures, goodwill and impairment
- rate-regulated activities
- climate-related risks in the financial statements
- extractive activities.
IASB Meeting Highlights – 25-27 July 2023
- dynamic risk management
- business combination – disclosures, goodwill and impairment
- maintenance and consistent application
- IFRIC update
- application of own use exception to physical PPA contracts
- primary financial statements
- disclosure initiative – subsidiaries without public accountability disclosures
- equity method
- extractive activities.
International Update – International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation
Latest news from the IFRS Foundation included:
|IASB proposes annual improvements to IFRS accounting standards||12 September 2023|
|IASB sets out accounting requirements for when a currency is not exchangeable||15 August 2023|
|Access the summary of the IASB’s tentative decisions on the Equity Method project||3 August 2023|
|Watch a new webcast on connections between accounting and sustainability disclosures||31 July 2023|
|ISSB consults on proposed digital taxonomy to improve global accessibility and comparability of sustainability information||27 July 2023|
|IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards endorsed by international securities regulators||25 July 2023|
|IFRS Foundation publishes comparison of IFRS S2 with the TCFD Recommendations||24 July 2023|
|Stakeholders reminded of IFRS accounting requirements for climate-related matters in financial statements||4 July 2023|
International Update – International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB)
Topics discussed included:
IPSASB Meeting Highlights – 12-15 September 2023
- implementation update
- retirement benefit plans
- IPSASB’s next strategy and work program
- other lease-type arrangements
- sustainability reporting – international sustainability standards board update
- measurement – application update
- differential reporting – application material
- presentation of financial statements
- improvements to IPSAS 2023
- sustainability reporting – New Zealand external reporting board update
- sustainability reporting – climate-related disclosures
- natural resources
- first-time adoption of accrual basis IPSASs
- natural resources – IFRS 6 alignment.
IPSASB Meeting Highlights – 27 July 2023
- IPSASB’s next strategy and work program.
Australian Update – Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB)
Topics discussed included:
AUASB Meeting Highlights – 12 September 2023
- sustainability assurance
- Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC) inquiries
- sustainability assurance – AUASB outreach plan
- International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) updates
- AUASB work plan
- ASAE 3500 project advisory group update
- ISA 570 Going Concern – Australian specific matters.
AUASB Meeting Highlights – 23 August 2023
- ISA 570 (Revised) Going Concern – AUASB submission.
AUASB Meeting Highlights – 14 August 2023
- exposure of the IAASB’s proposed ISSA 5000 – approval of AUASB consultation paper
- ISA 570 – update on AUASB consultation
- Consideration of AUASB submission to PJC inquiry into ethics and professional accountability: structural challenges in the audit, assurance and consultancy industry.
Latest news from the AUASB included:
|AUASB roundtables to obtain feedback on ED ISSA 5000 Sustainability Assurance||13 September 2023|
|IAASB webinar assurance on Sustainability Reporting||11 September 2023|
|IAASB International Standard Sustainability Assurance 5000 FAQ||30 August 2023|
|AUASB Submission on the IAASB’s Exposure Draft on ISA 570 (Revised) Going Concern||24 August 2023|
|AUASB Releases Consultation Paper on the IAASB’s Proposed ISSA 5000 General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements||17 August 2023|
|New AUASB Bulletin – What not-for-profit entities need to know about the differences between an audit or review||11 July 2023|
International Update – International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)
Australian Update – Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB)
Topics discussed included:
APESB Meeting Highlights – 24 August 2023
- proposed revised APES 225 Valuation Services
- proposed revised APES GN 30 Outsourced Services
- international and other activities
- update on developments relating to IESBA’s project on tax planning and related services
- update on sustainability
- proposed compilation of APES 110 Code of Ethics incorporating engagement team and group audits
- proposed revisions to APES 110 Code of Ethics for technology
- update on developments relating to APES 230 Financial Planning Services
- update on Parliament inquiries relating to the accounting profession.
|APESB issues revised APES GN 30 Outsourced Services||14 September 2023|
|APESB issues revised APES 225 Valuation Services||11 September 2023|
|Proposed technology-related revisions to the Code||1 September 2023|
|APESB’s submission to PJC Inquiry on Ethics and Professional Accountability||31 August 2023|
|APESB revises guidance on prohibitions in the Code for auditors||22 August 2023|
|APESB’s submission on Treasury’s Paper on Climate Related Financial Disclosure||21 July 2023|
|APESB’s submission to the Inquiry into the NSW Government’s use of consultants||17 July 2023|
|APESB and IESBA Staff collaborate on guidance on independence and technology-related services||14 July 2023|
|Amendments to the Code to strengthen independence for Group Audits*||30 June 2023|
International Update – International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA)
Topics discussed included:
IESBA Meeting Highlights – 18-22 September 2023
- use of experts
- Technology Working Group
- tax planning and related services.
|IESBA Handbook 2023 edition||21 September 2023|
|2023 Handbook of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants||19 September 2023|
|IESBA publishes interactive 2022 annual report||31 July 2023|
|Joint statement from the IAASB and IESBA Chairs on IOSCO’s endorsement of the IFRS sustainability disclosure standards||25 July 2023|
|IESBA issue response to Institute of Auditors exposure draft||17 July 2023|
|APESB and IESBA staff jointly issue guidance illustrating application of IESBA Code to technology-related services provided by auditors||13 July 2023|
|IESBA emphasises the critical importance of ethical behaviour for all professional accountants||12 July 2023|
|IESBA establishes a sustainability reference group*||30 June 2023|
|IESBA statement on the release of ISSB’s first two sustainability standards*||26 June 2023|
NSW Treasury documents and resources
|TPG 23-06 ‘Board Appointments for State Owned Corporations and Other Commercial Government Businesses’||29 September 2023|
|TPG 23-21 ‘Determining the present value of a provision’**||25 September 2023|
|Guidance on estimating a provision for paid parental leave enhancements||21 September 2023|
|TPG 23-10 ‘Annual Reporting Requirements’**||24 August 2023|
|TPG 23-19 ‘Guidelines for Community Services Obligations’**||15 August 2023|
|TPP 20-08 ‘Internal Audit and Risk Management Policy for the General Government Sector’**||14 August 2023|
|Guidance on the impact of the delayed 2023-24 NSW State Budget on the consideration of going concern**||2 August 2023|
|TD 23-11 ‘Annual reporting requirements’**||14 July 2023|
|TPG 23-16 ‘Related Party Disclosure’*||30 June 2023|
** For more information refer to Hot Topics section.
NSW Procurement Board
Directions and Procurement Alerts
NSW Procurement Board’s recent Directions included:
|Name||Type of document||Publication date|
|PBD 2023-01 ‘Skills, Training, and diversity in construction’||Direction||3 August 2023|
|PBD 2023-02 ‘Procurement Board Direction – Interim approval process for engagement contracts with PwC’||Direction||14 July 2023|
Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
Inquiries and Reports
Office of Local Government (OLG)
Recent publications released included:
|23-11 ‘Effect of the NSW Government’s policy on executive office holders’ and senior executives’ remuneration on general managers’, executive officers’ and senior staff remuneration’||13 September 2023|
|23-10 ‘End of Year Reporting Requirements for 2022-23 and Additional Information for 2023-24’**||14 August 2023|
|23-09 ‘September 2023 mayoral elections’||1 August 2023|
Publications by Australian and New Zealand Audit Offices
Australian National Audit Office
|Australian National Audit Office (ANAO)||Type of report||Publication date|
|Defence Assistance to the Civil Community||Performance audit||28 September 2023|
|Public sector accountability – the ANAO’s role||Speeches and Papers||13 September 2023|
|Trade Measurement Compliance Activities||Performance audit||5 September 2023|
|Accuracy and Timeliness of Welfare Payments||Performance audit||31 August 2023|
|Management of Non-Compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 for Unapproved Therapeutic Goods||Performance audit||28 August 2023|
|ANAO Annual Report 2022–23||Annual report||24 August 2023|
|Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program||Performance audit||23 August 2023|
|Governance of the Northern Land Council||Performance audit||15 August 2023|
|Quality Management Framework and Plan 2023–24||Corporate||7 July 2023|
|ANAO Corporate Plan 2023–24||Corporate||6 July 2023|
|Australia’s Provision of Military Assistance to Ukraine*||Performance audit||29 June 2023|
|Reporting Meaningful Performance Information*||Audit Insights||29 June 2023|
|Management of Information Assets*||Performance audit||28 June 2023|
|Effectiveness of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Management of Assistance with Daily Life Supports*||Performance audit||28 June 2023|
Australian Capital Territory Audit Office
|Australian Capital Territory Audit Office (ACT AO)||Type of report||Publication date|
|Implementation of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement||Performance audit||10 August 2023|
|Activities of the Government Procurement Board||Performance audit||20 July 2023|
|Procurement of a hybrid electric fire truck*||Performance audit||30 June 2023|
|Financial Management Services for Protected Persons*||Performance audit||28 June 2023|
Northern Territory Auditor-General's Office
|Northern Territory Auditor-General's Office (NT AGO)||Type of report||Publication date|
|Report to the Legislative Assembly||Financial audit, compliance audit, performance management system audits, reviews||28 August 2023|
Queensland Audit Office
|Queensland Audit Office (QAO)||Type of report||Publication date|
|Improving asset management in local government||Performance audit||25 July 2023|
|Managing invasive species||Performance audit||4 July 2023|
|Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre (Wellcamp)*||Financial audit||30 June 2023|
South Australian Auditor-General’s Department
|South Australian Auditor-General’s Department (SA AGD)||Type of report||Publication date|
|Access to Cabinet documents||Other||26 September 2023|
|Modernising SA public sector audit and strengthening audit independence||Other||26 September 2023|
|Agency audit reports||Annual report||26 July 2023|
Victorian Auditor-General’s Office
|Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO)||Type of report||Publication date|
|Responses to Performance Engagement Recommendations: Annual Status Update 2023||Performance audit||30 August 2023|
|Cybersecurity: Cloud Computing Products||Performance audit||16 August 2023|
|Results of 2022 Audits: Technical and Further Education Institutes*||Financial audit||30 June 2023|
|Results of 2022 Audits: Universities*||Financial audit||30 June 2023|
Western Australia Office of the Auditor-General
|Western Australia Office of the Auditor-General (WA OAG)||Type of report||Publication date|
|Annual Report 2022-2023||Annual report||27 September 2023|
|Triple Zero||Performance audit||22 September 2023|
|Financial Audit Results – Local Government 2021-22||Financial audit||23 August 2023|
|Electricity Generation and Retail Corporation (Synergy)||Compliance audit||9 August 2023|
|Requisitioning of COVID-19 Hotels||Performance audit||9 August 2023|
|Financial Audit Results – State Government 2021-22 – Part 3: Final Results*||Financial audit||30 June 2023|
|Financial Audit Results – Universities and TAFEs 2022*||Financial audit||30 June 2023|
|Audit Readiness – Better Practice Guide*||Practice guide||30 June 2023|
New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General
|New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General (NZ OAG)||Publication date|
|Leading New Zealand’s approach to housing and urban development||30 August 2023|
|Commentary on Te Tai Waiora: Wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand||29 August 2023|
|Getting it right: Supporting integrity in emergency procurement||24 August 2023|
|Submission on the Water Services Entities Amendment Bill||31 July 2023|
|Annual plan 2023 / 24*||29 June 2023|
|Responses to our recommendations about strategic suppliers*||29 June 2023|
Other useful resources
Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
Recent media releases included:
|ICAC finds former Hurstville City/Georges Rivers councillors corrupt||30 August 2023|
Recent news included:
|Handling public interest disclosures (whistleblowing)||August 2023|