Browse our audit reports about Parks, Recreation and Culture.
Portland Parks Golf: Changes needed to ensure long-term sustainability
Intended to be self-supporting, the golf program required an infusion of $800,000 of taxpayer funds in 2017 to remain solvent. While Parks has taken steps to cut costs and increase the number of golfers, it is fighting a national trend of a sport in decline and past ineffective program management. The audit recommends presenting alternative financial scenarios to Council for direction, and improving contract oversight.
Follow-up Report | September 2020
Regional Arts and Culture Council: Clear City goals aligned with strong Arts Council strategy will improve arts and culture services
The City has contracted with the Regional Arts and Culture Council for more than 20 years for arts and culture services including, public art, arts education and grants. We report on three high-level objectives to inform the City’s upcoming contract negotiation with the Arts Council. We also make recommendations designed to clarify the City’s arts and culture goals, help the Arts Council articulate its strategy and regional role, and improve the City’s contract and oversight.
Year-1 Follow-up Report | July 2019
Year-2 Follow-up Report | July 2020
Recreation Scholarships: Conflicting policy direction and communication barriers limit access
The City wants community centers to charge fees for activities while also ensuring access to residents. When scholarships are provided, centers lose funds needed to operate. Not all centers are able to provide the same access because centers balance the competing needs of access and revenue. The audit recommends updating the scholarship policy, budgeting for scholarships and reporting on program performance, and developing an outreach plan.
Follow-up Report | April 2019
Tree Code: Implementation phase shows progress and pitfalls
A comprehensive set of rules about trees went into effect in 2015 and applies to more trees than before. Initial results show improved protections for some trees but less positive results for other trees, as well as issues with implementation. We recommended addressing workload, technology, and compliance issues, as well as updating and aligning City plans and priorities.
Arts Tax: Promises to voters only partly fulfilled
In 2012, Portland voters approved a tax of $35 per person to fund art and music in schools and to support arts organizations. This audit reviews implementation of the tax to see if the promises made to voters in the ballot language were kept.
Portland Parks and Recreation: Managing diverse assets requires evaluation of maintenance
Parks does not have an adequate understanding of whether its maintenance practices are efficient and effective. Specifically, we found clear maintenance expectations are needed to evaluate against maintenance efforts; more emphasis is needed on maintenance during planning, design and construction decisions; maintenance data could be better managed and used in decisions; preparation is needed to transition from reactive to more preventive maintenance; and a more robust performance measurement is needed to evaluate maintenance.
Report | August 2013