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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

Request for Information to Law Firms and Attorneys

Request for Information to Law Firms and Attorneys

The Portland City Auditor’s Office on occasion uses outside counsel for advice, analysis, and drafting in a variety of legal areas. The office is seeking to broaden its pool of qualified attorneys or law firms that may be interested in providing these project-based outside legal services. Qualified respondents to this solicitation will be added to a pool of attorneys. The Auditor’s Office will contact attorneys from the pool as needs arise. This is not an offer or a solicitation for offers to enter into a contract.

The Auditor’s Office seeks a diverse pool of respondents with experience in one or more of the following areas:

• public sector employment and labor law;
• Oregon municipal law and governance;
• state and local campaign finance and elections law;
• open meetings and public records; and
• government procurement.

Services may be provided remotely and respondents outside the Portland area are welcome. Responses should not exceed five pages, and should contain the following information:

A simple cover letter:

• Briefly describing the responding firm or lawyer;
• Identifying relevant area(s) of subject matter experience;
• Highlighting any relevant experience; and
• Designating a contact person and providing their name, phone number, and email address.

A list of the primary lawyers who may provide services to the Auditor’s Office, and for each lawyer the following information:

• Years of experience.
• Relevant substantive areas of expertise. (This should include at least one of the areas listed above and may include additional areas of experience to be considered.)
• A brief summary of relevant experience.

A schedule of hourly rates for attorneys and support staff.

Responses should be sent by email to by no later than January 29, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., with the email subject line “Attorney RFI.”

Potential respondents are encouraged to contact Bridget Donegan, City Auditor’s Office General Counsel, for more information. She can be reached at or 503-865-6659.

Send us proposals for anti-racism training and seminars

12/3/2020: The deadline to submit proposals has passed. Thank you for your interest in the Auditor's Office!

We are requesting proposals to conduct anti-racism training and/or educational seminars for 25-50 Auditor’s Office employees. We are interested in hosting a series of speakers, approximately once per quarter, to provide our staff an opportunity to learn about the history of local communities, the experiences and impacts of structural racism, and work to become anti-racist at a personal and organizational level. We anticipate contracting with multiple speakers to ensure a diverse array of topics and expertise presented to our staff.

Topics covered in the trainings/seminars may include, but are not limited to:

• Understanding structural racism and white supremacy culture;
• Anti-racism and racial equity;
• Implicit bias;
• White fragility;
• Epigenetics and racialized trauma;
• How government policies and regulations result in disparities;
• Individual vs. institutional racism;
• Displacement and gentrification;
• The pre-colonial history of the area and experiences of Indigenous people;
• History of exclusion laws and anti-Blackness in Oregon; and
• Experiences of immigrant communities in Portland.

Normally, training would be hosted at our offices at City Hall, but these trainings will be held virtually using the Zoom platform. We have a Zoom account available, so speakers do not need their own account.

If this is the type of work that you or your organization provides, please submit a proposal to by 5:00 p.m. December 2, 2020. Questions about the proposal may be directed to or you may leave a voicemail message at 503-823-4078.

Proposals should include information relating to the topic or topics you propose to speak to, your experience, ability to deliver session(s) virtually, pricing details, and the proposer's organizational structure. Also, please include at least three (3) references that can attest to your experience delivering similar trainings/seminars.

Addendum Number One (1)

RFP: Anti-Racism Training and/or Educational Seminars
Addendum Date: 11/12/20

This Addendum is intended to provide updates and clarification to the above referenced RFP. Any information contained in this Addendum will be considered part of the RFP and will be used in the evaluation of the proposals. If you have already submitted your proposal, please review this addendum and re-submit your response should this addendum modify your proposal.

Addendum Details

Item No. 1 - Update: Purchase order
Clarification: Purchase orders will be awarded to successful proposers in lieu of price agreements. We anticipate awarding purchase orders to multiple speakers to ensure a diverse array of topics and expertise presented to our staff.

Item No. 2 - Update: Proposal submission deadline date
Clarification: Deadline for proposals has been extended to December 2, 2020.


Addendum Number Two (2)

RFP: Anti-Racism Training and/or Educational Seminars
Addendum Date: 11/13/20

This Addendum is intended to provide updates and clarification to the above referenced RFP. Any information contained in this Addendum will be considered part of the RFP and will be used in the evaluation of the proposals. If you have already submitted your proposal, please review this addendum and re-submit your response should this addendum modify your proposal.

Addendum Details

Item No. 1 - Update: Training scope/time available
Clarification: We are accepting proposals for trainings lasting anywhere from one to eight hours. The training can go over multiple days.


Addendum Number Three (3)

RFP: Anti-Racism Training and/or Educational Seminars
Addendum Date: 11/9/20

This Addendum is intended to provide updates and clarification to the above referenced RFP. Any information contained in this Addendum will be considered part of the RFP and will be used in the evaluation of the proposals. If you have already submitted your proposal, please review this addendum and re-submit your response should this addendum modify your proposal.

Addendum Details

Item No. 1 - Update: Joint proposals

Clarification: We are accepting joint proposals. If bidders are interested in collaborating with others for trainings or sessions, we welcome bids that include multiple presenters.

Item No. 2 - Update: Paperwork required

Clarification: There is new vendor paperwork that would have to be submitted before the issuance of purchase orders. The City requires the following forms: Business Tax Registration, EEO Certification, Equal Benefits Certification, and an ACH Vendor Payment Authorization Form. You may also be required to submit a Worker’s Compensation Insurance Statement and Insurance Certificate. However, you do not need to submit any of this as part of your bid.

Auditor Hull Caballero's testimony against referral of unvetted police oversight model to ballot

City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero's testimony July 29, 2020, against Council's referral of a police oversight proposal to the November 2020 ballot. Council voted 4-0 to refer the matter to the ballot.

Good afternoon, Mayor and Commissioners,

What a moment we are in. It is at once one of sadness, hope, and opportunity. Sadness for the family of George Floyd and so many others. Hope that this moment is a lasting pivot to a more just world for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Opportunity to make government more responsive, inclusive, and accountable.

I join with Portlanders who want their values for community safety aligned with the policing and emergency response delivered by the City of Portland. I am attentive to the voices of people who have been left out of the benefits of government while carrying more than their share of its burdens, and the work of the Auditor’s Office reflects and prioritizes that awareness. I also know that so much more needs to be done.

This moment is also one in which decisions made in haste may have us looking back in a few years, wishing we’d proceeded with a bit more care to get it right.

The proposal under consideration today is presumed to be in response to demands for a different police oversight system. Not a better system, just different. We can’t tell if it would be better, because we haven’t had time for due diligence, to weigh the pros and cons, to understand the hurdles to implementation, or to simply have our questions answered.

We haven’t had a moment to help the public understand that officers in the proposed system will be held to the same work rules that exist today until they are changed, and that the same legal protections will also apply. Those of us who’ve worked daily in civilian oversight know the obstacles and how hard they are to change. Magical thinking won’t make these existing constraints go away.

I appreciate the dilemma: There is an urgent call for change. People are in the streets. Emotions are running high. Do something, City Council, do something!

I urge you, however, to do the smart thing, so the people of Portland get a better oversight system, not just a different one. I urge you to do what only the four of you can do. Govern through a fraught time. Hew to the values of sound public governance: transparency, integrity, accountability, and inclusion. None of those values has been present in the development of this proposal. You are being asked to refer an unvetted, unrefined model of oversight that throws out the best of what works in the current system for a hazy promise of something better down the road. It rests on a foundation of misinformation, repeated over and over, from here to there, with such constancy that the truth cannot compete.

You are being asked to write with permanent pen instead of pencil, to imprint unvetted concepts in Charter that could easily be put in City Code and remedied if they prove to be unwise or unworkable.

Are you prepared to commit to spend as much on this oversight model in perpetuity as you do for the entire Auditor’s Office? That’s what guaranteeing the proposed model’s budget in Charter could do.

Are you prepared to lose the civilian oversight expertise, cultural competence, and years of experience that exist today, when the public servants who dedicate themselves to police accountability drift away for a more certain future? That’s the likelihood, as it will take years before the committee described in the proposal figures out the details and works through the policy, legal, and contractual issues.

A thoughtful schedule of Code changes, paired with a transition plan, would be a better course ahead than the chaos that will result in civilian oversight in the interim.

Please do not take lightly your duty to ensure that a referral from this Council to the ballot signals to the voters that it is ready for their consideration. There may be a time when this proposal -- fully developed, vetted, and tested -- will be worthy of such a vote. November 2020 is not that time.

Thank you.

Resources to evaluate police oversight changes

Auditor's Office logoPolice accountability has become a heightened subject of community concern in the wake of the brutal death of George Floyd in May under the knee of a Minneapolis officer. The Auditor’s Office has expertise and resources to help Portlanders understand our accountability system and evaluate proposals to change it.

The Auditor’s Office has played a specific role in police accountability since Independent Police Review was created in City Code in 2001. It has conducted periodic performance audits of the Police Bureau longer than that.

Portland’s accountability system is a shared responsibility between the Auditor and the Police Commissioner. The Auditor’s Independent Police Review takes complaints, investigates, and makes recommendations about policy violations to Police Bureau managers. It also monitors all cases investigated by the Police Bureau’s Internal Affairs. The ultimate decision-maker in cases that involve serious discipline is the Police Commissioner, who is also the Mayor.

See graphic of roles and responsibilities.

The system has changed over the years, including steps the City has taken to meet its obligations under a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. More improvements can be made, but it helps to understand which questions to ask and the answers provided by the existing system.

See the Auditor’s suggested questions and references for community discussion.

City Council is on track to consider changes to the accountability system on July 29, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. I cautioned at a virtual townhall meeting that it would be a mistake for Council to rush a new model onto the November ballot without first understanding the barriers that impede the existing system and allowing the community to discuss who the ultimate decision-maker should be if not the Police Commissioner.

See July 9, 2020, presentation slides.   

Listen to Think Out Loud conversation.

There are unfortunately too many misleading and misinformed statements in the discussion about the role of the Independent Police Review, so we’ve corrected the record on those as well.

See the corrected record.

The following are links to resources added to this blog post on July 28th, 2020 after the Auditor's press conference:

Creation of a new police oversight board, as proposed

A better approach

Video of Auditor's July 28, 2020 press conference

Slides from the press conference

Questions about proposed charter change

Statuses of majority report recommendations

Summary of mischaracterizations

Proposal versus current authority and practice

Mayor's proposed budget violates Charter, Auditor's independence

The budget the Mayor proposed May 7, 2019, violates City Charter and undermines the independence of the Auditor’s Office. The Auditor exercised her Charter authority last August and withdrew her consent to house the City Hearings Office after City Council declined to provide enough resources to ensure it operates effectively for the public. Mayor Wheeler put the Hearings Office back in the Auditor’s Office budget anyway. He swore an oath to uphold the City Charter. City Council must correct this violation before approving the budget on May 20. You can submit written comments to City Council on the budget here.

“City Charter requires the consent of the Auditor before Council can assign duties to the Auditor’s Office,” said City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero. “Council has no such consent, and the Mayor unlawfully put the Hearings Office back into the Auditor’s Office budget. I am calling on all Council members to remove the Hearings Office from my budget before they vote to approve the overall City budget.”


  1. Portland City Charter: Auditor’s duties and required consent
  2. Auditor’s 2019 memo withdrawing consent to house Hearings Office
  3. Auditor’s Requested Budget without the Hearings Office
  4. Auditor’s April 28, 2020 email seeking confirmation before budget announced
  5. City Council’s April 29, 2020 memo seeking reconsideration
  6. Auditor’s May 5, 2020 response to City Council
  7. Auditor’s 2016 memo withdrawing consent to house Hearings Office