I was asked by a gentleman in the United Kingdom to help him to find a CAFR (or Annual Financial Statement [AFR]) similar to the United States system of uniform financial reporting in order to prove and document that government’s investment scheme. Though I had never searched or looked at one in any depth, I have read in several places that this AFR system is becoming ever more global in structure, and well on its way to merging into a totally global uniform structure of financial accounting. And after my extensive search, I was shocked at how this international financial accounting structure has already been implemented right under our collective noses.
Since it took me quite an effort today to search and find such an annual financial report in the UK, I wanted to share what I found with you folks across the sea, and how I finally found the CAFR (AFR) equivalent of the UK in England.
After much searching with different terms I finally found this official letter from the City Of York Council (CYC), which explains the statutory requirements of the Annual Financial Report and its “Statement Of Accounts” in the United Kingdom. This term “Statement of Accounts” seems to be the key word to find these financial statements online for each local City or government there, and the first sentence (Summary) of the letter below is fairly uniform in most of these reports, meaning that searching this term brings up many “AFR/Statement of Account” (.pdf) files for different UK governments.
Here’s what that letter says from the City of York Council:
Audit and Governance Committee 27 September 2012 – Report of the Director of Customer & Business Support Services – Final Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts 2011/12
“This report is for Members to Note the Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts 2011/12. Members will then approve the Annual Financial Report – Statement of accounts 2011/12 following consideration of the Annual Governance Report – Audit Commission, which follows on this agenda.”
“The draft pre-audit Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts for 2011/12 were signed by the Chief Finance Officer – Director of Customer & Business Support Services – on 29 June 2012. This is in accordance with the revised Accounts and Audit Regulations 2012, which require authorisation by 30 June each year.”
“The Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts 2011/12 has been prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the UK, in line with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).”
“It is a statutory requirement to produce an Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts every year by 30 September.”
“The Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts provides a technical financial summary of the activities of the council and assists in providing the Council with a viable financial position in which to base it future budget projections. It is a statutory requirement that the Audit & Governance Committee approves the Statement of Accounts after the audit by 30 September 2012.”
“Members are asked to Note the Final Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts for 2011/12 in order that they can receive the Annual Governance Report of the Audit Commission also included on this agenda. (The Annual Financial Report – Statement of Accounts 2011/12 will be approved by members following the Annual Governance Report – Audit Commission.)
It is a statutory requirement that a committee of the Council or Full Council approves the Statement of Accounts for 2011/12 by 30 September 2012″
So we now know these reports are statutorily (legally) required for all cities in the UK. So my next step was to pull up the City Of York Annual Financial Report to see what I could find, with the goal of finding the equivalent habit of the United States governments in UK financial reporting of the hiding of current assets with future liabilities. And here is what I found…
City Of York AFR link (download page link)–> http://www.york.gov.uk/downloads/file/543/statement_of_accounts_2011_12_8_00_mb
First, we look in the index to find the equivalent Statement of Net Assets as in the United States – a listing of basic assets, liabilities, and total assets after these two sections are totaled.
On Page 17 we find listed the “BALANCE SHEET”. This is the only page we will be addressing here today, though it is in no way a comprehensive look at these Financial Statements. The notes are integral to a full understanding of this report, as well as utilizing this same examination technique to the reported individual fund (reserve) balances below – which are also covered up with similar creative accounting principles to lower the reported balances.
The first thing I noticed here is that where the United States refers to its investment funds as “Fund” and “Fund Balances”, the UK government apparently uses the name “Reserve” and “Reserve Balances” instead – same thing; different language.
I also noticed that the “TOTAL ASSETS” final total is equal to the “RESERVES” final total, signifying that the reserve (funds left over) balance of cash and investments is called the “RESERVES”.
Also interesting to note is that under the ASSETS section, the government lists “LONG-TERM ASSETS”, which is a very deceiving reporting of what in the Untied States are called Capital Assets – buildings, property, etc.
These “LONG-TERM ASSETS” as property with fluctuating values should in no way be confused with future income or tax revenue, which would account for and equal out to zero future debt payments as reported in the Long-Term Liabilities section. In other words, just like in the United States, this UK government is using FUTURE LIABILITIES (future payments on debt to be made years or decades in the future) to cover up the CURRENT ASSETS (RESERVES) of today (end of fiscal year of AFR). In this way, the reserve (investment fund and cash account) balances can be hidden from the public, creating the illusion that these CURRENT reserves (assets) are matched by CURRENT liabilities listed as Total Assets.
And this is the scam… for the future debts (liabilities) will be paid for by future revenues (taxes/assets) collected, and therefore the CURRENT assets should not be affected by the future York debt payment schedule – no more than your personal bank account balances today are effected by your own future car or mortgage payments of tomorrow. A reporting of assets held today should not be effected by debt payments tomorrow, unless someone is attempting to purposefully hide today’s assets.
Thus, this obfuscation and cover-up of actual government wealth in government financial reporting is uniform and perfectly legal throughout the world.
The people are still sitting on their collective asses here in the good ol’ United States, but maybe ya’ll over there in the Queens land might actually do something about this – maybe some of those famous riots I so love…
So let’s take a look at what the real financial position of the City Of York was on September 30, 2012…
The 2012 reserves include ($=British Pound):
General Fund Balance – $13,441,000
Capital Receipts Reserve – $992,000
Housing Revenue Account Reserve – $10,811,000
Major Repairs Reserve – $574,000
Capital Grants Unapplied – $4,541,000
Earmarked Reserves – $23,541,000
Revaluation Reserve – $130,489,000
Capital Adjustment Account – $347,342,000
Available-for-sale Financial Instruments Reserve – $0
Financial Instruments Adjustment Account – $(-2,060,000)
Pensions reserve – $(-181,934,000)
Collection Fund Adjustment Account – $169,000
Employee Benefit Adjustment Account – $(-5,321,000)
These are the same types of investment funds which in America are called “Funds” (debt service fund, golf fund, water fund, sewer fund, capital improvement fund, etc.). The purpose of these reserves as investment funds is to put restrictions upon that revenue reserve in order to take it out of the taxpayer base and into the business-type (non-governmental) base (no longer able to be used in the taxpayer budget) – where it can be invested into treasuries, securities, and utilized and loaned for interest bearing purposes. This is the purposeful draining of taxpayer money from taxpayer services, and it is fraud. For this, I think you all should give me at least one good riot!
You see, you in the UK also have the same criminal hiding (obfuscation) of these assets as we do in America, by applying future liabilities to current asset totals, and excluding the actual value of assets on the budget report for the people.
My last article explains this scam in America, here: http://realitybloger.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/unmasking-the-cafr-scam-in-every-city-usa/
And in UK reporting, it is the same…
Under “LONG TERM LIABILITIES” York has listed $443,631,000, meaning that these are future amortized loan payments, pension, or other liabilities (payments) that will be paid in the future by future assets collected and investment returns earned. In other words, today’s actual balance is being effected by tomorrows debt without consideration of tomorrows revenue as tax-money collections or interest earned in the future on these above listed investments (reserves of fund balances).
“LONG TERM BORROWING” is listed at $252,766,000 for instance, meaning this is taking the reported budgetary balance of assets down by this much in value, literally hiding the wealth and investments of today.
And also listed as a long-term liability is “LIABILITY RELATED TO DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION SCHEME” for $181,934,000. This represents the amount of future assets that will be put into the pension fund “scheme”, but in no way effects the available balance of today’s assets. Again, future asset and revenue collection will pay for this future pension liability.
And yes, the pension system is certainly a scheme, no different than any insurance or banking investment scheme out there. It is simply a way to justify more taxation to “match” the pension payments made by government employees with taxpayer monies and invest those monies into the global markets.
And so if we add up just these two “long-term liability” line items for “pensions” and “borrowing”, realizing that they have nothing to do with the balances of today, we see that total assets should read as $434,700,000 higher than are reported here on this “Balance Sheet” report. That brings our actual total usable money today (Total Assets) in cash and liquid investments to a total of $777,340,000 instead of the reported $342,640,000 – more than double of what the people are led to believe on their budget report.
This will be the uniform way of financial reporting throughout the governments of the UK. So if you can find your City’s AFR and then go to the “BALANCE SHEET” in the index, you will find an equal report for every government in the UK.
***Note again that I use the $ sign here only because I don’t know where the pound sign is on my computer.
What About The Rest Of The World?
As this was the first I have heard about the “International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)” as reported in the City of York Council letter above, I took a quick peek to see what this was all about. As with most things – like the International Social Security Administration (ISSA) with over 130 countries under its administration, and the International Bar Association (IBA) with untold participation of all countries and legal systems including the United States, it appears that the IFRS is yet another glimpse into the globalization of the world financial and legal framework into one working “system” and standard of global practices.
A cursory search for this IFRS and how it was being implemented both in the United States and globally brought the following results:
“International Financial Reporting Standards have truly arrived in Canada”
“Managing The Transition To International Financial Reporting Standards – An Oracle White Paper”
This white paper identifies the many challenges companies face when implementing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in corporate reporting. It also explores how Oracle’s IFRS-enabled enterprise performance management system can ease this transition. The Oracle solution provides the high level of analysis and transparency that companies need in today’s demanding and uncertain global financial reporting environment.The world’s capital markets ebb and flow continuously, and participants in that marketplace must have access to financial information that faithfully reflects their economic performance.
Since the early 1970s, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and its predecessor, the International Accounting Standards Committee, have worked to develop a single set of international standards, the IFRS. The world’s capital markets ebb and flow continuously, and participants in that marketplace must have access to financial information that faithfully reflects their economic performance, is consistent among companies around the globe, and is governed by a trusted and respected authority of corporate compliance.This massive international endeavor is one of unprecedented scale and complexity—one that is now bearing fruit, despite some minor setbacks. These setbacks have included, for example, the well-publicized amendments to International Accounting Standards (IAS) 39: Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement. Nevertheless, IFRS have gained acceptance and traction in all major regions of the world.
The most-notable progress has been in Europe. In June 2000, the European Commission published the document, EU Financial Reporting Strategy: The Way Forward, which proposed that all publicly listed companies prepare their consolidated accounts in accordance with IAS by 2005. Remarkably, given the scale of the undertaking, more than 9,000 listed companies are now using IFRS when generating their consolidated financial statements.In addition, member states of the European Union (EU) allow companies to use IFRS for corporate income tax statements. Today, most EU countries require companies to generate reports that are in compliance with local Generally Accepted Managing the Transition to International Financial Reporting Standards Page 3 Accounting Principles (GAAP) for tax purposes, but those reports don’t have to be in compliance with IFRS. In practice, companies may be implementing IFRS anyway, as local GAAP guidelines increasingly converge with IFRS.
Following Europe’s success in implementing IFRS, there is renewed focus in the U.S. to merge U.S. and international accounting standards. Presently, there are approximately 11,000 companies whose securities are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), of which about 1,100 are non-U.S. companies. Since 2005, non-U.S. companies have been allowed to submit their financial statements to the U.S. SEC in compliance with either U.S. GAAP or IFRS, as long as they reconcile discrepancies in the results between the two. But in November 2007, the U.S. SEC voted to drop the reconciliation requirement for financial statements for the year 2007. This represents a major step forward in a long process as U.S. GAAP and IFRS converge. IASB Chair Sir David Tweedie has said that the two sets of standards could be completely merged by 2012. According to SEC Chair Christopher Cox, “The SEC’s decision could put a shine on the image of the United States in the global capital markets system, improve capital-raising opportunities for companies, and provide better comparability of financial statements for investors.”The shift from the rules-based U.S. GAAP to the principles-based IFRS is intended to improve transparency rather than simply enforce compliance, as it allows for some judgment by implementers. However, there are many challenges ahead for the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and for the finance executives of U.S. public companies who will be making the transition. For example, fair value accounting, a key practice in IFRS, should be familiar to U.S. finance executives because current FASB accounting rules require fair value accounting for such items as derivatives, securitizations, intangibles, and employee stock option grants. However, assessing the value of other assets and liabilities in the absence of active markets could be very subjective, which could make financial statements less reliable. Nevertheless, the FASB is moving forward to enforce fair value accounting in specific areas—pension and lease accounting proposals are currently up for discussion. IFRS even eliminate long-standing practices, such as “last-in-first-out” accounting for inventory valuation, which will be replaced with the newer “first-in-first-out” method.The shift from the rules-based U.S. GAAP to the principles-based IFRS will improve transparency rather than simply enforce compliance.
In 2005, the Canadian Accounting Standards Board announced a directional change, favoring the use of IFRS over the use of U.S. GAAP. In 2007, the board established a fixed deadline of 2011 for Canadian companies to adopt IFRS for financial reporting. For publicly listed companies, IFRS will be required for interim and annual financial statements relating to the fiscal years beginning January 1, 2011. Canadian private companies and nonprofit organizations are not required to use IFRS, but are permitted to adopt IFRS after 2011.“With the date firmly established, enterprises can plan for the changeover with certainty about the timetable,” said Paul Cherry, chair of the board. “A significant challenge lies ahead but it will be made far more manageable if business leaders prepare early.”“A significant challenge lies ahead but it will be made far more manageable if business leaders prepare early.”—Paul Cherry, chair Canadian Accounting Standards BoardCanadian companies will have to provide comparative data based on IFRS for the previous fiscal year. That is, enterprises must start using IFRS by 2010, and should begin preparing for the transition in 2008 and 2009.
Regulating bodies in countries as diverse as Armenia, Costa Rica, Kuwait, Peru, Australia, and South Africa require reporting from all publicly listed companies to be based on IFRS. In addition, the International Organization of Securities Commissions has recommended that the world’s regulators permit companies to prepare financial statements based on IFRS for cross-border offerings and listings. The IASB has also begun a project to merge the Japanese GAAP with IFRS.
And for a generic description, Wikipedia states:
IFRS began as an attempt to harmonize accounting across the European Union but the value of harmonization quickly made the concept attractive around the world. They are sometimes still called by the original name of International Accounting Standards (IAS). IAS were issued between 1973 and 2001 by the Board of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). On April 1, 2001, the new International Accounting Standards Board took over from the IASC the responsibility for setting International Accounting Standards. During its first meeting the new Board adopted existing IAS and Standing Interpretations Committee standards (SICs). The IASB has continued to develop standards calling the new standards International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)…
IFRS are used in many parts of the world, including the European Union, India, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan, GCC countries, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, and Turkey. As of August 2008, more than 113 countries around the world, including all of Europe, currently require or permit IFRS reporting and 85 require IFRS reporting for all domestic, listed companies, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
It is generally expected that IFRS adoption worldwide will be beneficial to investors and other users of financial statements, by reducing the costs of comparing alternative investments and increasing the quality of information. Companies are also expected to benefit, as investors will be more willing to provide financing. Companies that have high levels of international activities are among the group that would benefit from a switch to IFRS. Companies that are involved in foreign activities and investing benefit from the switch due to the increased comparability of a set accounting standard. However, Ray J. Ball has expressed some skepticism of the overall cost of the international standard; he argues that the enforcement of the standards could be lax, and the regional differences in accounting could become obscured behind a label. He also expressed concerns about the fair value emphasis of IFRS and the influence of accountants from non-common-law regions, where losses have been recognized in a less timely manner.
It is interesting to note here that the above mentioned “International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC)” was created and based in the City of London until 2001, and that the United States was a member through the private association called the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the United Kingdom and Ireland (counted as one) were members through the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Scotland through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Ireland through the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI), and in whole the United Kingdom through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountablitity (CIPFA) – among other countries.
The fact that the United States was a member of this London-based organization dovetails on the very threat of a loss of United States borders and sovereignty that I have been warning about for many months, and other for years – through the utilization of private, non-governmental associations such as these drawing in most of the positions of trust and power within the United States; specifically via appointed (not elected) offices like Public Accountants, Financial Officers, City Managers, and through private NGO associations like the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the National Mayors Association (NMA). These private non-governmental associations promote uniform legal codes and standards on a national and global basis. In short, government has changed so dramatically that it is now virtually unrecognizable; run and administered through private associations that are non-governmental, supposedly non-profit, tax-exempt, and completely nationally and internationally appointed without consideration by and of the people.
In the case of the International Accounting Standards Board, we see the following progression:
On January 25, 2001, the International Accounting Standards Foundation (IASF) was incorporated as a tax-exempt organization in the US State of Deleware. On February 6, 2001, the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation was also incorporated as a tax-exempt organization in Delaware. The IFRS Foundation is the parent entity of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), an independent accounting standard-setter based in London, England.
On 1 March 2001, the IASB assumed accounting standard-setting responsibilities from its predecessor body, the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). This was the culmination of a restructuring based on the recommendations of the report Recommendations on Shaping IASC for the Future.
The IASB structure has the following main features: the IFRS Foundation is an independent organization having two main bodies, the Trustees and the IASB, as well as a IFRS Advisory Council and the IFRS Interpretations Committee (formerly the IFRIC). The IASC Foundation Trustees appoint the IASB members, exercise oversight and raise the funds needed, but the IASB has responsibility for setting International Financial Reporting Standards (international accounting standards).
So who is it that this totally independent Foundation appoints to be the members of the board?
The IASB has 14 Board members (12 are full time members and 2 are part time) each with one vote. They are selected as a group of experts with a mix of experience of standard-setting, preparing and using accounts, and academic work. At their January 2009 meeting the Trustees of the Foundation concluded the first part of the second Constitution Review, announcing the creation of a Monitoring Board and the expansion of the IASB to 16 members and giving more consideration to the geographical composition of the IASB.
The IFRS Interpretations Committee has 14 members. Its brief is to provide timely guidance on issues that arise in practice.
A unanimous vote is not necessary in order for the publication of a Standard, exposure draft, or final “IFRIC” Interpretation. The Board’s 2008 Due Process manual stated that approval by nine of the members is required.
The members (as of July 2011) were:
- Hans Hoogervorst (Chairman), Netherlands, former Minister of Health, Minister of Finance
- Ian Mackintosh (Vice-chairman), New Zealand, former Coopers & Lybrand, Chief Accountant Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- Stephen Cooper, UK, UBS Investment Research
- Phillipe Danjou, France, former Arthur Andersen, AMF (Financial Markets Authority of France)
- Jan Engström, Sweden, former Volvo Group
- Patrick Finnegan, USA, formerly of the CFA Institute
- Amaro Luiz de Oliveira Gomes
- Prabhakar Kalavacherla (‘PK’) (was an audit partner at KPMG LLP in the San Francisco office )
- Dr Elke König (Germany)
- Patricia McConnell, USA, formerly of Bear Stearns
- Takatsugu Ochi (Japan)
- Paul Pacter (US)
- Darrel Scott (South Africa)
- John T. Smith, USA, former Deloitte, FASB
- Zhang Wei-Guo, China, former Professor in Shanghai, China Acc. Standards Committee
So America… who is setting the accounting standards for your elected and appointed politicians so that obfuscations like the one shown above can be uniform throughout the world?
Well, CEO’s and bankers from around the corporate and government world for starters – from Japan, South Africa, France, Sweeden, Germany, China, United Kingdom, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, and the Netherlands – and from such mega-corporations as Bear Stearns, Deloitte, Volvo, Arthur Andersen, UBS, Coopers & Lybrand, and KPMG.
Note that of the 14 appointed members, only 4 are from the United States. And the chairman is from Netherlands. And so the supposedly sovereign United States (or any country for that matter) can be out-voted by the consensus of this group. Does that sound like sovereignty to you???
As for the City of York Council and Cabinet we see the same problem of delegation of the functions of elected officials to appointed officers and employees. It is their responsibility according to York’s own constitution to “appoint the Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) and designate officers as the Monitoring Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and Proper Officers under the relevant legislation designate Proper Officers has been otherwise delegated in this Constitution… appoint representatives to outside bodies unless the appointment is one that must by law be made by the Cabinet in relation to its functions or has been delegated by the Council.” “Functions which are the responsibility of Full Council may be delegated to a Committee (including a Ward Committee), a sub committee, an Officer or another Local Authority. Functions which are the responsibility of the Cabinet (called “Cabinet Functions”) may be delegated to a Committee of the Cabinet, a Ward Committee, an individual Member of the Cabinet, an Officer or the Cabinet of
another Local Authority.“
(Source: See Part 3 of York’s Constitution, here: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ecCatDisplay.aspx?sch=doc&cat=12830&path=0)
This has been a long process of incremental change over many decades, and within the United States dating back to the late 1800′s. These private associations and NGO’s have taken over the entire framework of government, and are ghostwriting the legislation and laws of this and other countries around the world – all through common standards and practices originating from a global board on a global committee.
Understanding this reality of the structure of our now completely infiltrated government is the first step to understanding the full scheme of investments and greed that have now shaped the world economy. And the lies and obfuscations allowed by international law to be implemented as an international standard of financial reporting is already upon us.
Welcome to the global machine…
–Clint Richardson (Realitybloger.wordpress.com)
–Monday, March 4th, 2013