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Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

We're hiring a Senior Staff Attorney

Senior staff attorney recruitment

The Portland City Auditor is hiring a senior staff attorney to provide legal and policy advice to the Office of the City Auditor. The senior staff attorney will provide advice to the Auditor and division managers on a broad range of issues related to performance auditing, complaint investigations, public records and meetings, lobbying regulations, and police accountability. To qualify, candidates should have at least 10 years' legal experience and knowledge of government accountability and transparency matters.

Applications materials must be submitted to the City Auditor's Office by 5 p.m., Sept. 29. Find more information here:  https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/article/654940

Archivists tackle white supremacy, other issues, at national conference in Portland

The Society of American Archivists held their conference in Portland the last week of July. This was a big deal since it is the first time they met in Portland and was only the second time meeting in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle 1990). Apparently, archivists love Portland because the registration numbers were the second highest ever – 2,100 people in all, including many international archivists.

This year’s theme was Archives 2017: alike/different and it served to focus discussions on topics such as diversity, inclusion, ethics, outreach, education, activism, and collaboration. The last day of the conference was set aside as an opportunity to invite the community to attend and present alongside archivists, with the intent to provide both groups with a forum to learn from each other. The keynote speaker was Walidah Imarisha, who spoke to the role of archives in realizing our whole selves – not just who we are, but who we were, how we got here, and who we will be in the future. One of her quotes gets to the core of what ARM has been working on for many years, “How do we make sure this information is accessible?  How do we take this knowledge that people actually want – not what we assume they want – out into the community where folks can use it and engage with it?”  Some of the community groups that were involved: hops and brewing (OSU has one of the first beer archives in the nation), Vanport Mosaic, Don’t Shoot Portland, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

The proximity of the conference meant that all Archives and Records Management staff attended sessions. I co-chaired the Host Committee and chaired/presented on Portland Archives and Records Center’s artist-in-residence program, while Mary Hansen gave a presentation on documenting activism in the public record. Some of the sessions attended by staff:

  • Radical Empathy in Archival Practice: a hybrid lightning talk-facilitated dialogue provided a forum for discussing the ways in which our profession can "center radical empathy and obligations of care."
  • The State of State Government Electronic Records: progress in state archives and records programs in dealing with electronic records.
  • Identifying and Dismantling White Supremacy in Archives: Developing a Plan of Action: In the words of Auditor’s Office employee Max Johnson: “[focus on the] de-centralization of the white experience in the record. The chair of the session made the discussion interactive and invited participants to develop strategies for addressing common issues that arise from white supremacy and oppression in the US…. We then discussed what it looks like to engage an inclusive model of record keeping, archives creation, donor relations, access controls, and other archival/records management concepts.”
  • Local government records section’s panel discussion about documenting activism in the public record:  Mary Hansen’s focus was on the documentation that is naturally captured through the work that City employees do (minutes, communications, meetings, laws).  A presentation by an archivist from the New Orleans City Archives discussed the removal of confederate statues in the middle of the night by city employees wearing ski masks so community members didn’t recognize them. A topic that would soon after become a headlining topic throughout the world.
  • Representation without Leadership: Assessing Stress and Gender in the Archival Workplace:  In the words of Max Johnson: “It turns out that archivists as a profession are very, very depressed. Much higher than the national average for other professions; we are also much more compassionate. This data was analyzed and the results contextualized by a clinical psychologist, so I felt the information presented was solid. Other aspects of the study had to do with feelings of stress based on what gender your manager is and differences in stress levels by gender based on the type of work and which work caused who the most stress. Very interesting to think about how we all react differently to different challenges in the workplace.  Something important to always keep in mind.”  Diana’s note: ARM is obviously bucking the trend….

If you are interested in reading some of the handouts given to attendees of the Identifying and Dismantling White Supremacy in the Archives, please visit these links:

Peggy McIntosh - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GEHaNWcaSVhIx1yzw2VZEYQB3rASl8GosfiiiKCLxdU/edit

Frances E. Kendall – http://organizingforpower.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/Underst_White_Priv.pdf

Dismantling White Supremacy poster http://www.gracenbrilmyer.com/dismantling_whiteSupremacy_archives3.pdf

--City Archivist Diana Banning

Our peers approve!

A trio of auditors from Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, and Honolulu conducted a peer review of Audit Services' quality control procedures and concluded they were working appropriately to ensure our audits meet professional standards. This "audit of the auditors" provides assurance to the public that Audit Services is meeting the requirements of Government Auditing Standards.  

Peer reviews typically take up to one week to perform, and the team arrived for duty August 21, just in time for the eclipse. The reviewers selected a sample of audits published from 2014 to 2017 and tested their compliance with internal control policies and procedures. The audits selected were: 

  • Bureau of Technology: Services: City fails to comply with payment card industry standards
  • City Procurement: Contracting process needs Council intervention
  • Arts Tax: Promises to voters only partially fulfilled
  • Presidential Campaign Visits: The City should follow policy and charge for services
  • 2016 Community Survey: Portlanders’ rating of city livability drops to new low
  • Americans with Disabilities Act: Coordination gaps complicate City response
  • City Risk: City loss prevention needs a proactive approach

Thanks to Jennifer An, Jon Goodman, and Charisma Fojas for conducting the review. Find their opinion letter here.

Changes to DOJ Settlement Agreement coming Aug. 3

City Council will consider a package of changes related to its settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on Aug. 3, 2017, at 3 p.m.

Proposals include amending the agreement itself, amending City Code to bolster police accountability, and asking a court to decide if officers involved in fatal incidents can be interviewed by Internal Affairs without jeopardizing a criminal prosecution.

 August 3, 2017 agenda items scheduled for 3:10 p.m.

871  TIME CERTAIN: 3:10 PM – Adopt new Post Deadly Force Procedures for Police Bureau and authorize legal proceedings to determine validity  (Ordinance introduced by Mayor Wheeler)  90 minutes requested for items 871 - 873


UPDATE: Passed by the Council August 9, 2017 as substituted Ordinance 188546

Exhibits

 872  Approving amendments to Settlement Agreement between the United States and the City of Portland in United States District Court Case No. 3:12-cv-02265-SI, and Plan for Portland Commission on Community-Engaged Policing  (Ordinance introduced by Mayor Wheeler) 


UPDATE: Passed by the Council August 24, 2017 as Ordinance 188570

Exhibit 1     Exhibit 2     Exhibit 3     Exhibit 4     Exhibit 4-1

 873  Amend Independent Police Review Code to revise filing process, investigation and appeal provisions of complaints of police officer misconduct  (Ordinance introduced by Auditor Hull Caballero; amend Code Sections 3.21.070, .120 and .160) 


UPDATE: Passed by the Council August 9, 2017 as Ordinance 188547

 

Mayor’s proclamation sets independence Charter changes in motion

Mayor's proclamation

Charter changes to increase the independence of the City Auditor -- embraced by 86.42% of the electorate – are in effect. Mayor Ted Wheeler accepted the election result June 14, 2017, and issued a proclamation on behalf of City Council.

The changes enable the Auditor’s Office to make its own decisions about human resources and procurement as well as obtain independent legal advice. Before the Charter change, City bureaus that were the subject of audits and investigations were in control of those decisions. The changes also authorize the Auditor to submit budget requests directly to City Council for consideration without a review by the City Budget Office. 

The new Charter requires the Auditor’s Office to have adequate internal controls, comply with all applicable laws, operate efficiently, and periodically undergo reviews by outside entities. It also incorporates the role of the City Ombudsman, which previously had existed only in City Code. Implementation of the Charter provisions is underway. 

See the package Council referred to voters here.