Members of the Little Rock Board of Directors are expected to take up a proposed ordinance next month to amend the city's financial reporting standards and update language in city code that is more than 20 years old.
During a meeting Tuesday, city board members deferred consideration of the proposed ordinance. They are expected to consider the proposal again at their next regularly scheduled meeting on April 4.
Members voted to modify their agenda Tuesday at the outset of the meeting to defer the financial reporting item and add two other items without discussion.
City Director Lance Hines of Ward 5, who was absent from the meeting, had asked that consideration of the proposed ordinance be delayed because he wanted to be present, Hines confirmed when reached via email Friday.
The Little Rock ordinance that laid out the current set of financial reporting standards in city code was adopted in December 2001.
The proposed ordinance now before the city board would amend language regarding how a monthly financial report is to be provided to the city board, changing it from a fund balance report to budget comparison reports for budgeted funds.
The draft measure also removes a requirement for a formal presentation by the city manager and the city's top finance officer when the monthly financial report is included as an agenda item at the first regular city board meeting after the report has been received.
Language throughout the standards would be adjusted to refer to the city's chief financial officer where the standards previously mentioned the director of finance.
Additionally, new language is meant to allow the format of reports to change as standards for governmental accounting are updated.
"The format of all Monthly Financial Reports shall be in accordance with Governmental Accounting Standards and shall include Annual Budget, Year-to-Date Budget, actual, variance from Budget, and prior year for all budgeted funds," the proposed ordinance states.
Mandates in city code that officials issue fund balance reports on a quarterly basis as well as semiannual financial reports have been removed, though officials still expect to deliver quarterly reports summarizing year-to-date finances to the city board.
Consideration of the ordinance precedes the expected retirement of the city's Chief Financial Officer Sara Lenehan this summer.
Lenehan, who has overseen the Little Rock Finance Department since 2008, disclosed in November that she planned to retire at the end of June.