The need for more rigorous, transparent and comparable reporting of fiscal data became a priority following the sovereign debt crisis. In 2011 the European Council issued Council Directive 2011/85/EU (the Budgetary Frameworks Directive) setting out the rules on Member State budgetary frameworks necessary to ensure compliance with the Treaty obligation to avoid excessive government deficits. This Directive requested the Commission to assess the suitability of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for the Member States.
Two EPSAS task forces have been established by Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Commission, Task Force EPSAS Governance and Task Force EPSAS Standards. Task Force EPSAS Governance was created to exchange views with the Member States' authorities on possible future governance arrangements and underlying key principles of EPSAS. Task Force EPSAS Standards was created to exchange views with the Member States' authorities on technical aspects of the standards. The Treasury Department is representing the Maltese Authorities on these task forces.