SOCPA Comments on Rfi, Consultation on ISSB Agenda Priorities
International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has published a request for information on Agenda Priorities of ISSB. Saudi Organization for Chartered and Professional Accountants (SOCPA), represented by its Accounting Standards Council, outlined that the future challenge for the Board is how to apply the standards issued, especially in countries that do not give much attention to sustainability reports, and based on the reporting frameworks from which the Council’s standards began. Accordingly, SOCPA considered that the ISSB should focus on providing guidelines for the standards issued, and consider providing simplifications and improvement of the requirements of the standards in light of the results of their initial application.
In addition, SOCPA considered it important for ISSB to reconsider the requirement of the previous SASB standards being as the industry-based guidance, which were intended primarily for the US environment and included extensive cross-references to publications and guidance available in that environment and not under the Board's control. SOCPA proposed to ISSB to issue guidelines specific to the standard that do not include the need to refer to other versions that are not publicly available and are not under the ISSB control.
Among SOCPA recommendations to the ISSB, is that the focus should be on how to integrate the financial report before starting exposure drafts for new standards, especially in light of the limited professional expertise in the field of sustainability reports, and that the ISSB, when starting any new project, should take into account all different environments on how to estimate the opportunities and risks related to disclosing a particular sustainability topic.