Photo credit: Motoya Nakamura

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Our community is recovering from the dangerous and deadly conditions that the winter weather emergency brought to our region earlier this month. I have immense sympathy for those who lost loved ones in the severe weather event. And I am so grateful to the county employees and community members who were in treacherous conditions to work at the emergency shelters, transport people to them, or in other ways help people make it through the storm safely. Thank you all for your service.

A lot has been reported in local news about the county’s and city’s failures to provide shelter for the entire severe weather event. I recognize that there may be additional ways in which county actions impacted people during the storm.  If you need help resolving a storm-related issue with the county, please feel free to contact the County Ombudsperson, Cheryl Taylor, at or 503-988-1234. The County Ombudsperson is located in my office and is an impartial resource for you.

Thank you,

Jennifer McGuirk
Multnomah County Auditor

2023 annual report header
Photo credit: Motoya Nakamura

Read our 2023 annual report

Each year, we look back on what we have accomplished in our service to you. Our 2023 report is now available, and provides updates on our work on audits, the hotline, ramping up our Ombudsperson function, and community engagement.  

The full report is available on our website here.

Process matters - my memo on a contract award allocation process

Process matter header - my memo on a contract award allocation processIn early January, I issued the Memorandum to Board of County Commissioners: Concerns about contract award allocation process. I issued this memo to provide transparency about an investigation my office conducted after receiving a report to the Good Government Hotline. The person who reported to the hotline alleged that an elected official used their position to gain an advantage for a particular provider in a Joint Office of Homeless Services contract award allocation process.

While we wrote that we could not substantiate abuse of position, fraud, or waste, what we found was not acceptable. We found that the process was not insulated enough from outside influence to assure impartial and open competition, and that outside influence put undue pressure on Joint Office employees.

Once a procurement or award allocation process formally starts, individuals who are not on the evaluation team should not communicate about the process with proposers, or try to push the evaluation team toward a particular end. At a minimum, this kind of influence gives the appearance that the process is not transparent, impartial, or open. It is particularly inappropriate when the individuals attempting to influence the process are elected officials or their staff.

I issued this memo because it’s not just the ultimate funding decisions that matter when the county government selects a contracted provider. The process matters too.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement January 2024 Header
Over 400 community members attended Word is Bond's "The Black Stars" at the Hollywood Theatre, in Portland, Oregon. / Photo credit: Word is Bond
On January 11, our office attended Word is Bond’s “The Black Stars” premiere. It was a celebration of Black excellence and stories of resilience, as the film featured eight young Black men from Portland, OR who traveled to Ghana for a leadership expedition in a journey to reconnect themselves to their ancestral roots. The film was directed by Portland native Twixx Williams and the evening also included live performances from Sebé Kan Dance Troupe, Alonzo Chadwick, and rapper YunginCED, and a post-film panel led by Dr. Renee Mitchell. My office staff that attended the premiere were Ombudsperson Cheryl Taylor, Audit Director Caroline Zavitkovski, Management Auditor Mical Yohannes, and Constituent Relations and DEI Engagement Specialist Raymond De Silva.

If you’d like me and or staff to attend or speak at a meeting with your community group, simply fill out this form.

The Black Stars premiere artists
Photo credit on left and right by Word is Bond that spotlights Bond of Sebé Kan (Serious Sound) and Dance Troupe from "The Black Stars" premiere.