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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

Auditors take Environmental Services results on the road

Stormwater management examplesOur reports are geared to general audiences, but some well-informed community members may want more of the nuts and bolts. If you’ve found yourself wishing you could ask us whether we considered something you’ve been thinking about, we can come to your community meeting to offer an in-person briefing.

Two recent examples were the Development Review Advisory Committee and the Portland Utility Board. Last week they took the opportunity to grill us about our audit on Bureau of Environmental Services programs for stormwater management on private property.

The Bureau of Environmental Services relies on private property owners to manage stormwater that runs off roofs and pavement yet has not adequately tracked their systems or assessed the overall benefits.

The City Auditor found that the Bureau of Environmental Services’ data about private stormwater management were not adequate for system planning. The Bureau also had not evaluated whether programs related to private stormwater management met goals for volume of stormwater managed or for rate fairness. Without evaluations, the Bureau could not show that the benefits of private stormwater management exceeded costs imposed on the private sector and could not adjust program elements to optimize efficiency.

Members of the Development Review Advisory Committee provide advice to City bureaus about the development review process. We thought that the committee might be interested in our finding about thresholds in the Stormwater Management Manual that trigger requirements associated with new development.

The Portland Utility Board is a community oversight body for the management of the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau. We thought the board might be interested in our finding about the Clean River Rewards discount program. The Board tied our finding to its broader work related to providing financial assistance for low income ratepayers.

To view the full audit report visit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditservices/article/691508

If your community organization is interested in an in-person briefing about any of our audits, we’d love to come out and speak with you. Visit the Audit Services Division website for contact information and audit topics. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditservices/

-- Elizabeth Pape, Senior Management Auditor