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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Simone Rede

Promoting open and accountable government

Testimony: Budget process puts Auditor's Office in a jam

Among its many quirks, the commission-form-of government puts the Auditor’s Office in a jam at budget-setting time.

The issue is structural. Commissioners have executive responsibilities to run bureaus as well as sit as policy makers in City Council, including making budget decisions. As the sixth elected official in City government, the Auditor audits and investigates commissioners in their executive role. Then those same people decided the level of resources the Auditor gets in any given year and how the Auditor may use them.

I proposed a framework to ensure the City Council can meet its fiduciary responsibilities while the Auditor’s Office receives a predictable level of funding to do its work on behalf of the public. The City is hosting several events for public testimony on the budget and taking written comments online. The Mayor’s Proposed Budget is scheduled to be announced May 1.

You can watch my presentation and the Council's reaction here.

You can read my presentation here.

--Mary Hull Caballero