January 30, 2019
Dear members of the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan Committee,
I write to express my support for your work. I watched with great interest when the Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted the Workplace Equity Resolution in September 2017. At that time, I was a candidate for the office I now hold, and I expressed my support for the resolution on social media, writing:
At todayʹs Multnomah County Board of Commissionersʹ meeting, some county employees shared disturbing and heart‐wrenching stories of systemic racism that they have experienced as county employees. I applaud these employees for their bravery in coming forward. The county needs to hold people accountable who discriminate, and change the systems that enable racism. A first step in change occurred at the meeting when the Commissioners unanimously adopted the countyʹs Workplace Equity Resolution.
Your Committee’s work is vital to addressing a system that hard numbers and lived experiences have shown us is flawed. I support your work because your goal to improve government is related to my work as County Auditor.
The mission of my office is to ensure that County government is efficient, effective, equitable, transparent, and fully accountable to all who live in our county. To meet this mission, my office conducts performance audits and special studies that provide accountability to the public and improve Multnomah County programs, services, and operations.
Audits involve hundreds of hours of work, including research, interviews, onsite observations, and data analysis. We look at County programs critically to identify barriers and obstacles that impede the County’s mission to help people. We report on these findings and issue recommendations to County leadership intended to make our government better, such as helping ensure all County employees work in environments free from harassment and discrimination so that employees are better able to serve people who receive County services.
I released the audit schedule for this calendar year on January 23. It includes a planned audit of the implementation of the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan. The intention behind this audit is to serve in the Auditor’s traditional role to support transparency and government accountability at every level of the organization, as well as to help maintain the County’s focus on workforce equity in its various aspects. My office will keep in contact with you as we develop the audit’s parameters; please let me know who our primary contact(s) will be on the Committee.
The work of this Committee has the potential to support not just the improvement of our local government, but also other jurisdictions. I appreciate and recognize your service to Multnomah County.
Jennifer McGuirk, MPA, CIA
Multnomah County Auditor