BGR Weighs in on City’s Use of Financial Reserves

City Hall New Orleans Seen From Duncan Plaza May 1980
Photo by Alan Robinson for the US National Park Service via Wikimedia Commons

NEW ORLEANS — On May 22, the Bureau of Governmental Research sent a letter to the mayor and the New Orleans City Council urging greater planning and public reporting for the City of New Orleans’ use of its primary financial reserve.

The City Council’s budget committee is meeting on May 23 to consider more than $73 million in appropriations from this reserve, called the general fund balance. This money came into the City’s reserve largely as a result of savings enabled by federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for COVID-19 pandemic relief. 

BGR chronicled the growth in the reserve in a December 2022 report that called for the City to apply the same recommendations for ensuring transparency and accountability of the federal funds to these one-time dollars. But six months later, the nonprofit watchdog said it is concerned that appropriations from the general fund balance are continuing without adequate public information, planning and accountability.

BGR’s letter calls on the City to address these deficiencies – and provides recommendations for doing so – before approving additional fund balance appropriations. 

Categories: Finance, Nonprofit, Politics, Today’s Business News