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2014 Financial Report of the United States Government

Notes to the Financial Statements

Note 19. Prior-Period Adjustments

Prior-Period Adjustments for the Year Ended September 30, 2014, and 2013
Changes to Net Position
(In billions of dollars)
Prior-period adjustments
  Department of Justice (0.1) (0.3)
  General Services Administration - (1.8)
  Department of the Interior - (0.5)
  Other prior-period adjustments - (0.6)
Total prior-period adjustments (0.1) (3.2)

For fiscal years 2013 and 2014, DOJ applied a change in accounting principle to certain components based on the implementation of their Financial Management Policy Memorandum (FMPM) 13-12, Capitalization of General Property, Plant, and Equipment and Internal Use Software. The primary impact of the policy change was an increase in the thresholds for capitalizing and reporting real property, including leasehold improvements; personal property; and internal use software. The change in accounting principle caused a $0.1 billion and $0.3 billion reduction in the overall PP&E balance for fiscal years 2014 and 2013, respectively.

For fiscal year 2013, GSA and DOI applied a change in accounting principle for the recognition of environmental liabilities related to asbestos, as required by FASAB Technical Bulletin 2006-1. GSA recognized a total asbestos liability of $1.8 billion attributable to prior years’ amortized cost. This was recognized as a prior-period adjustment in fiscal year 2013. The DOI recognized a liability and an adjustment to ending net position for the total estimated asbestos cleanup cost of $0.5 billion. The other prior-period adjustment line includes Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, and Department of State reporting. The Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, and State also implemented FASAB Technical Bulletin 2006-1.

As discussed in Note 22—Funds from Dedicated Collections, five independent agencies were erroneously reported as funds from dedicated collections for fiscal year 2013. In addition, the Patient Centered Outcome Research Trust Fund erroneously did not report as a fund from dedicated collections for fiscal year 2013. These errors were corrected in fiscal year 2014 and resulted in a prior-period adjustment amount of $0.3 billion.

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