IFAC Addresses the Concept of the Public Interest
Nov 04, 2010 | New York | English
Proposes Definitional Framework Based on Responsibilities of the Accountancy Profession
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organization for the accountancy profession, has released for public exposure A Public Interest Framework for the Accountancy Profession(IFAC Position Paper #4).
In order to consider and address issues in the accountancy profession on a consistent and clearly articulated basis, IFAC has developed a principles-based framework of the public interest, which can be applied to standard-setting, governance processes, policy analysis, and regulatory issues. Although mainly designed for use by IFAC itself, it may also be useful to the accountancy profession as well as to policymakers, regulators, and business leaders.
IFAC considers that the accountancy profession, in serving the public interest, should be evaluated against three criteria: 1) consideration of costs and benefits for society as a whole; 2) adherence to democratic principles and processes; and 3) respect for cultural and ethical diversity. These criteria enable IFAC to assess the extent to which any policy, action, process, or condition is in the public interest.
"For IFAC to play its part in the financial system, we must be sure that our actions are consistent with the public interest. The primary purposes of this paper are to explain how we understand the public interest, and to be transparent about how we will use that understanding to shape our decisions and actions,” said IFAC Chief Executive Officer Ian Ball. “By exposing this paper for public comment, we seek both to receive input that can help us finalize our position and to stimulate other organizations to articulate how they interpret this fundamental concept.”
How to Comment
IFAC invites all stakeholders to comment on its proposals. To access the exposure draft or submit a comment, visit IFAC’s website. Comments on the exposure draft are requested by March 25, 2011.
IFAC (www.ifac.org) is the global organization for the accountancy profession, dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 159 members and associates in 124 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.