Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Image of white, purple, and pink spring flowers in foreground. Daffodils in background.
Spring flowers. Photo by Jennifer McGuirk.

It is always a pleasure to talk with you about my office’s work and government auditing in general. This month, I had the opportunity to speak about all things auditing with two subcommittees of the Multnomah County Charter Review Committee (MCCRC), as well as with the county’s Non-Departmental Community Budget Advisory Committee.

I talked with the MCCRC's Government Accountability Subcommittee about my office’s proposed amendments to the Auditor portion of the County Charter. My office is seeking amendments that would:

  1. remove an existing conflict of interest in budget-setting for the Auditor’s Office; 
  2. increase the number of audits under way at any one time by increasing budget resources to the Auditor; 
  3. ensure the ongoing existence of the Good Government Hotline, which is the county’s fraud, waste, and abuse of position hotline; 
  4. establish an ombuds office for the County; and 
  5. ensure the Auditor’s Office’s access to timely information.

I hope you will read my final presentation materials for the subcommittee. A key focus of the presentation was on how the proposed amendments will enable my office to provide better service to the community. For example, the proposed amendments will put the power to set my office’s budget floor in the hands of Multnomah County community members, and allow my office to double the audits we produce each year while maintaining subject matter expertise through the creation of core service area audit teams. I ask you to support my office’s proposed amendments by sending an email to Kali.Odell@multco.us, the MCCRC’s program coordinator, with the subject line "Public Comment." 

The MCCRC’s Safety & Justice Subcommittee asked me to talk with them about the Auditor’s authority to audit, what we do during an audit, how our audit power intersects with other oversight of the Sheriff’s Office and other aspects of the criminal justice system, and about our jail conditions audit. (The report for that audit will come out in April.) You can read my presentation for the subcommittee here.

I also got to talk with the Non-Departmental Community Budget Advisory Committee, which reviews and makes recommendations on county budgets and operations for offices that are not part of a county department. I spoke with the committee about my office’s budget proposals for the fiscal year 2023, which starts in July. My office is requesting:

Program #10005A - Auditor's Office - This maintains the office's current service level.
Program #10005B - Auditor Software - This would enable my office to purchase an audit management system that will help ensure compliance with generally accepted government auditing standards, support efficient and transparent processes, and automate workflows.
Program #10005C - Audit Capacity Expansion - If fully funded, this would add four staff auditors to the office and enable the creation of audit teams for public safety and human services, including homeless services. For fiscal year 2024, my office would seek to add additional staff to create other subject-matter focused audit teams.

I ask you to read these budget proposals, and if you support them, to please send Chair Kafoury an email as soon as you can indicating your support. 

It was an honor to speak with each of these groups. I appreciate their members, who asked thoughtful, tough questions - and who are generously contributing their experience, knowledge, and time in service to their county.

Meanwhile, my staff continued to work on our audit of the Joint Office of Homeless Services’ information systems. We also started writing our report on our audit of COVID-19 contact tracing, and neared completion of our report on our audit of jail conditions. I look forward to sharing that with you soon.

Thank you,


Apply to serve on the Board of Commissioners Audit Committee!

The Audit Committee of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has an opening for a community member. Potential Committee members should be interested in county financial practices. Knowledge of financial audits, financial statements, and/or financial management is desired but not required.

The Audit Committee serves as a liaison between the Board, the independent external auditor and management, as their duties relate to financial accounting, reporting, and internal controls and compliance. The Committee assists the Board in reviewing county accounting policies and reporting practices related to the county's Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports. Committee members help assure the independence of the county's external auditors, the integrity of management, and the adequacy of disclosures to the public.
 
While the Audit Committee is not a group that advises the Auditor's Office, Committee members do interact with me and other county leaders throughout their service on the Committee. My office serves as staff to the Audit Committee. We support community members’ participation on the Committee by providing stipends, transportation support, and other assistance. Please visit the application web form to learn more about the Audit Committee’s work and apply!
 
Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm on Friday, April 22, 2022. If you need translation or an accommodation, or to request a paper application, please contact the Auditor's Office at (503) 988-3320 or email mult.auditor@multco.us.


Helpful COVID-19 Links

  • Unfortunately, some communities have experienced acts of racism and xenophobia because of the myths surrounding COVID-19; this county site has information about how to report discrimination and find support. 

  • This page contains resources to support our communities as we experience the COVID-19 pandemic and get through this together.