The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), developer of IPSAS, international accrual-based accounting standards for use by governments and other public sector entities around the world, has issued Reporting Sustainability Program Information—Amendments to RPGs 1 and 3: Additional Non-Authoritative Guidance.

Ahead of a decision by the IPSASB on the potential development of a framework for public sector specific sustainability reporting guidance, the additional non-authoritative guidance included in Recommended Practice Guideline (RPG) 1, Reporting on the Long-Term Sustainability of an Entity’s Finances, and RPG 3, Reporting Service Performance Informationcan be immediately applied by governments and public sector entities to report on sustainability programme information.

The additional guidance is intended to support the implementation of the key areas highlighted in the OECD paper Green Budgeting: A Way Forward. RPG 3 includes four illustrative examples which show how its authoritative guidance can be applied to reporting sustainability programme information on:

  • A programme financed by a green bond;
  • A programme financed by a carbon tax;
  • An investment in infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate change; and
  • A tax expenditure for sustainability investments.

IPSASB chair, Ian Carruthers, said: “For governments and the public sector to play their parts in addressing climate change and sustainability, strong governance, accountability, and transparency are necessary.

“As we explore the potential development of a public sector sustainability framework, in the interim, public sector entities can utilise the additional guidance that the IPSASB has provided in the amendments to these RPGs for reporting on programs addressing both climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.”