Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Each year, I present to the Board of County Commissioners on the proposed budget for the Auditor’s Office. At the presentation, I provide an overview of the important work my team and I have been doing to ensure that county government is efficient, effective, accountable, transparent, and equitable. Because of the recent news about the Secretary of State’s ethical lapses that have negatively impacted trust in that office, I took time during my budget presentation to highlight the approach my office takes to ensure you can trust in our work. I wanted to share some key points from my presentation with you: 

We use a rigorous process to develop the annual audit schedule. 

Each year, we conduct a risk assessment at the county division level. Each division is a part of a larger county department. For example, the Public Health Division is part of the Health Department. The risk assessment has 13 measures, including:

  • Annual budget
  • Staffing
  • Health and safety issues that could happen if the division doesn’t provide core functions
  • The departmental score on the ethics survey my office conducts every two years 
  • How many complaints we’ve received about the division
  • How recently we’ve audited the division.

Anyone who works or lives in Multnomah County can share audit ideas with us. Based on the risk assessment and audit ideas we’ve received, staff in my office propose audits. 

We assess how each proposed audit would benefit the public interest. 

All government auditors take on the responsibility to serve the public interest and honor the public trust. During the audit proposal process, we discuss the potential impacts each audit is likely to have. For example, we ask if the audit:

  • Will support equity
  • Will address a countywide issue or be an audit that can benefit multiple departments
  • Will provide opportunities for cost savings
  • Will improve the quality of information available on the issue
  • Will be timely

This assessment is important to developing an audit schedule that will benefit the people of Multnomah County. Setting the audit schedule is one of my most important responsibilities as your County Auditor. 

Independence in fact. Independence in appearance. 

Before an audit begins, each auditor I’ve assigned to the audit and I attest to our independence in relation to the area under audit. If we have concerns about independence, we follow guidance in the standards we adhere to, which are the generally accepted government auditing standards. We need to be both independent in fact and to appear independent so that you and everyone in the county can trust in our work. I take this extremely seriously.  

You can view my presentation here to learn more about our processes, recent projects we’ve completed on your behalf, and our budget request for the fiscal year that starts in July. Thank you,

Jennifer McGuirk

Multnomah County Auditor

Community Engagement

We honor and celebrate the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month for the rich heritage, resilience, and remarkable achievements of AAs and NHPIs in the diverse tapestry of our community. We recognize AANHPI Heritage Month goes beyond a month-long celebration and recognition, but an ongoing commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive community for all to flourish, in Multnomah County, Oregon. 

On May 6, Constituent Relations and DEI Engagement Specialist, Raymond De Silva represented our office by attending the Oregon Rises Above Hate event, in Portland's Old Town Chinatown. This event gathered AANHPI leaders and diverse communities from across Oregon to stand united against racism, hate, and bias incidents. Multnomah County AANHPI leaders including Commissioner Susheela Jayapal and Commissioner Lori Stegmann spoke to encourage participants to take action and become agents of change statewide against hate. It was a powerful message of resilient hope that Oregon is committed to creating a safe and welcoming community, where we build a future free from hate and prejudice. 

Acknowledging Rise in Hate Crimes + Resources to Share

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, AANHPI communities and businesses have experienced a dramatic rise in hateful rhetoric. One important way we can provide support is by sharing resources to help communities to report these bias incidents and be connected to trauma informed victim support and mental health services. Please share these resources widely. 

  • Bias Crime Hotline (1-844-924-BIAS) (1-844-924-2427): A non-emergency hotline and online portal to report bias incidents to trauma informed operators and receive support with interpreters available in 240 languages. 
  • Bias Response Emergency Fund: The Bias Response Hotline has opened a limited emergency fund to assist victims of hate crimes and bias incidents in their recovery. The fund pays up to $1000 for costs incurred within 90 days of a bias incident or bias crime that a survivor is otherwise unable to afford. 
  • Lines for Life: Racial Equity Support Line (503-575-3764): The Racial Equity Support Line, a service led and staffed by people with lived experience of racism, offers support to those who are feeling the emotional impacts of racist violence and microaggressions, as well as the emotional impacts of immigration struggles and other cross-cultural issues.

On May 20, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), hosted their AANHPI annual event with the 2023 theme, “Voices of Change Celebration: Deepening Ties, Growing Power." This celebration encapsulated the mission of cultivating stronger connections within the community while harnessing the collective power to affect meaningful change by empowering Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders to address systemic challenges and advocate for racial and social justice in community development and cultural work local government, education, business, to name a few.

Say Hey! quarterly event hosted by Partners in Diversity, with Multnomah County employees, including Mical Yohannes, Management Auditor, the third person on the right, and Raymond De Silva, Constituent Relations and DEI Engagement Specialist on the right

Partners in Diversity hosted the quarterly Say Hey! event, in downtown Portland, on May 4. It is the largest multicultural networking event in Oregon and southwest Washington. Mical Yohannes, Management Auditor and Raymond De Silva, Constituent Relations and DEI Engagement Specialist were in attendance as a community resource, on the behalf of the Auditor’s Office.

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

This month marks 80 years from when government forced Portland-area Japanese and Japanese Americans to leave their homes for the North Portland Assembly Center // Photo by Oregon History Project.
This month marks 80 years from when government forced Portland-area Japanese and Japanese Americans to leave their homes for the North Portland Assembly Center // Photo by Oregon History Project.

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation

In May 1942, a dark chapter in Multnomah County history unfolded as approximately 3,700 Japanese and Japanese Americans found themselves unjustly incarcerated at the Portland Expo Center. Our country was gripped by fear following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. In the midst of this atmosphere of suspicion, innocent Japanese families were locally uprooted from their homes, stripped of their belongings, and forcibly relocated to the confines of the Expo Center. As we remember this painful past, it serves as a reminder that we must remain vigilant in reconciliation by serving under-resourced groups through anti-racist practices and racial equity policies, where we repair safety and belonging in our community by rejecting racism from past and present racial injustices that create the fabric of Multnomah County.