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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-988-1234. The County Ombudsperson is located in my office and is an impartial resource for you.
Multnomah County Auditor
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
In 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.
If you’d like me and or staff to attend or speak at a meeting with your community group, simply fill out this form.