The recognition of public goods: The case of Portuguese municipalities

Susana Catarino Rua


Purpose: This study aims to analyze the mentioned of POCAL (1999), IPSAS of IPSASB and in various doctrinal opinions, regarding the recognition of the public goods (BDP), and check if there may be problems inherent to the recognition of BDP in Portugal, bridgeable with the adoption of IPSAS in Portugal.

Design/methodology/approach: For this study, we made a review of literature, about the position of POCAL (1999), the IPSAS of IPSASB, and doctrinal perspective, on the recognition of public assets. In addition, a study was made about the evolution of public assets values, in the years 2006-2013, of the total of 308 Portuguese municipalities, to conclude concerning the existence of difficulties in the recognition of these assets, and the need to adopt international standards.

Findings: In Portugal, and in some municipalities, the inventory process is not yet complete, with difficulties as regards the recognition of BDP. These difficulties are due to the fact that the POCAL (1999) does not provide the requirements for the recognition of assets; problem exceeded in the IPSAS nº 17 of IPSASB (2006b), to refer these requirements. Adopt a new Accounting Standards System applicable to Public Administration (SNC-AP), based on IPSAS, may be the solution to these questions, by introducing criteria to be taken into the recognition of assets, to ensure the comparability of information and heritage values of the Portuguese municipalities.

Research limitations/implications: The inexistence of recognition criteria to be followed by municipalities has limitations in terms of comparability of the values of the different components of assets presented by various municipalities.

Originality/value: This work shows that, in Portugal, there are still problems with the recognition of public assets, which is due to the lack of precise definition of recognition criteria, which can be overcome with the adoption of a new SNC-AP.


Recognition, Assets, Municipalities, POCAL, IPSAS.

Full Text:



Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience