Going Against the Grain: When Private Rules Shouldn’t Apply to Public Institutions

Going Against the Grain: When Private Rules Shouldn’t Apply to Public Institutions This piece analyzes the institutional challenges and tensions generated by applying the privately produced International Financial Reporting Standards to the financial reporting practices of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an inter-governmental organization, and specialized agency of the United Nations. The authors question whether the application of the Standards is carried out in the interest of the organization or whether it is rather a product of pressure, both external and internal, to adopt rules that reflect a particular understanding of what constitutes ‘best practice’. The authors draw attention to the fact that best practices often become benchmarks for a wide range of institutions, notwithstanding fundamental institutional differences. They argue that the adoption of externally generated rules must be pursued in a systematically cautious, coordinated, and critical manner in order to avoid producing practices that run against the very grain of a public institution’s constitution and mandate. They also argue that robust governance structures are necessary to avoid institutional digressions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Organizations Law Review Brill

Going Against the Grain: When Private Rules Shouldn’t Apply to Public Institutions

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2012 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1572-3739
eISSN
1572-3747
D.O.I.
10.1163/15723747-00901011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This piece analyzes the institutional challenges and tensions generated by applying the privately produced International Financial Reporting Standards to the financial reporting practices of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an inter-governmental organization, and specialized agency of the United Nations. The authors question whether the application of the Standards is carried out in the interest of the organization or whether it is rather a product of pressure, both external and internal, to adopt rules that reflect a particular understanding of what constitutes ‘best practice’. The authors draw attention to the fact that best practices often become benchmarks for a wide range of institutions, notwithstanding fundamental institutional differences. They argue that the adoption of externally generated rules must be pursued in a systematically cautious, coordinated, and critical manner in order to avoid producing practices that run against the very grain of a public institution’s constitution and mandate. They also argue that robust governance structures are necessary to avoid institutional digressions.

Journal

International Organizations Law ReviewBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2012

Keywords: International Financial Reporting Standards; international financial organizations; auditors; governance

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