Thursday, 21 February 2013

Response from Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the IASB

The following is the response from Mr Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the IASB, to my open letter to him.
Dear Mr Smith,
Thank you for your email of 21 January 2013. I thank you for your interest in our work in the area of hyperinflation.
I am sorry that you were disappointed with your experience of working with some of our staff. I understand that the staff decided to withdraw their paper on the issue you submitted in order to carry out more work on the matter, and that in doing so they will take your comments into consideration.
In response to the specific questions that you raise I would like to make the following comments:
1. Consideration of your proposal: When we undertake our research project on inflation accounting, we will consider all submissions that we receive on the subject. This will include yours and it will include the Argentinian Federation’s proposals. Each submission will be treated fairly.
2. Method of staff collaboration: It is important that our staff collaboration approach retains a degree of flexibility and agility to respond to the circumstances, and to respond in a timely manner. The staff will frequently have informal communications with submitters and other stakeholders to help them understand the issues raised and to develop their analysis and proposals. In many circumstances an informal approach will be more efficient and productive. I do not think that all informal, private telephone conversations should be recorded, or that we should provide a minute service. I think that there should be agreement reached between the parties on each call about what the next steps should be by each party, and I understand from the staff that this was done on the telephone calls that they had with you. However, the staff will reflect on the comments you raise and think about how their collaboration can be improved.
3. Staff paper 20 for the January 2013 Interpretations Committee meeting: This paper was withdrawn and further work will be performed by the staff. A new paper will be brought to a future meeting of the Interpretations Committee.
In the light of the concerns that you have raised, I think I should clarify some matters about how we operate and how we collaborate with our stakeholders. The paper that was prepared in response to the submission you made was prepared for the purpose of giving the Interpretations Committee sufficient information to allow it to make a decision about whether or not to add the issue to its agenda. As such it is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of the issue; to do so would not be a responsible use of resources on the occasion that the Interpretations Committee decides not to add the issue to its agenda. If the level of detail is not sufficient for the Interpretations Committee to make that decision then it will ask the staff to perform further analysis. I can understand that this might be frustrating to you but we need to balance competing demands on the time of the IASB and the Interpretations Committee. We rely on the staff to make judgements about allocation of resources and if we think they have got those judgements wrong then we tell them and ask them to address the deficiencies.
I trust that this answers the questions that you raised, and I hope that our staff will be able to continue to seek your input and assistance on their work on your submission.
Yours sincerely,
Hans Hoogervorst | Chairman

International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
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