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Re: Gov.Enforced Enviro Indicators and Financial Act.



11/20/99
 
Nick,
Thank you for your commentary.
 
Performance based budgeting is mandated in several ECOS member states and all state comptrollers auditing the financial input and output indicators of environmental agencies use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in accordance with Government Accounting Standard Board (GASB) rules. 
 
A call to GASB (David Dean, Dir. of Research phone: 203-847-0700 ext.244) will clarify the potential for the merger of performance measure reporting (ie.CPM) by state environmental agencies and GASB statement 34 along with existing environmental GASB rules (ie.Statement #10 (liability) and Statement #18 (landfill closure costs).
 
Cheers,
Donald Sutherland
Member of the Society of Environmental Journalists
donaldsutherland-iso14000@worldnet.att.net
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Rosenberg <nrosenberg@gmied.org>
To: DONALDSUTHERLAND-ISO14000@worldnet.att.net <DONALDSUTHERLAND-ISO14000@worldnet.att.net>
Cc: rp-cinet@igc.topica.com <rp-cinet@igc.topica.com>; p2tech@great-lakes.net <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
Date: Saturday, November 20, 1999 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: Gov.Enforced Enviro Indicators and Financial Act.

Donald,
with all due respect...
I cannot see from your observations on the CPMs and the GASB standards how you could arrive at the conclusion that "the merger of CPMs with environmental GASB...seems an inevitable merger that could very possibly set a national precedent"
You suggest that most individuals you contacted in state government were either familiar with CPMs but not with GASB, or vice versa.  You refer to a generally expressed "cluelessness" about the relationship between the two, then go on to say they are an inevitable pairing of standards -but you seem to be the only one who thinks so.  You interviewed some very knowledgeable professionals in both the financial and environmental fields, but asked them to comment on two sets of "standards" (and I'll use that term loosley) which serve very different functions. I would challenge your presumptions and be very cautious about  your implication that based on their infamilliarity with GASB,  Steve Adams of Florida and his peers in Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Minnesota are the ones who are "clueless" regarding environmnental performance reporting.

For your reference, I've clipped the stated purposes of the two standards below:

CPMs:
"CPMs are a limited set of national measures, designed to help gauge progress towards protection of the environment and public health." (from CPM memo)

GASB:
"These government-wide financial statements will help users:

      Assess the finances of the government in its entirety,
      including the year's operating results

      Determine whether the government's overall financial position
      improved or deteriorated

      Evaluate whether the government's current-year revenues
      were sufficient to pay for current-year services

      See the cost of providing services to its citizenry

      See how the government finances its programs—through
      user fees and other program revenues versus general tax
      revenues

      Understand the extent to which the government has invested
      in capital assets, including roads, bridges, and other
      infrastructure assets

      Make better comparisons between governments."
(from GASB statement 34 into)

Sincerely,
Nick Rosenberg

Donald Sutherland wrote:

 Here is my latest report on codified state government environmental indicators and environmental financial accounting. "I presume we are using appropriate current GASB standards for our environmental performance reporting," says Steve Adams, an economists in the office of strategic projects & planning at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, "but I am an economists and I don't deal with accounting standards." Environmental officials in Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Minnesota also expressed similar clueless responses.
 No state ECOS official contacted could speculate on the merger of CPMS with environmental GASB, but it seems an inevitable merger that could very possibly set a national precedent for codified government enforced financial environmental performance reporting.  (C)Donald Sutherland 1999   

--
______________
Nick Rosenberg
Green Mountain Institute for Environmental Democracy
104 East State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

(802)229-6086 phone
(802)229-6076 fax
www.gmied.org