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The City of Portland, Oregon

Audit Services

Audits City bureaus and programs for efficiency, effectiveness and equity

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 310, Portland, OR 97204

Performance, Community Survey

Browse our audit reports about government performance and our community surveys. 

The City needs to make realistic commitments to voters and ensure they are delivered

We found in four recent audits of voter-approved spending that the City did not consistently assess the feasibility of commitments it planned to put on the ballot, and language used to describe commitments to voters was not always clear. Portland may have a harder time ensuring that promises are delivered because commitments can fall through the cracks when there are changes in bureau leadership, which is common in the commission form of government. Additionally, the City has no central monitoring function once a voter-approved City tax or bond is passed to help ensure that accountability measures are established and consistent with what was promised.

Visit our webpages for the four recent audits referred to in this report:

Portland Housing Bond: Early implementation results mostly encouraging (June 2019)

Fixing Our Streets: Some accountability commitments not fulfilled (May 2019)

Recreational Cannabis Tax: Greater transparency and accountability needed (May 2019)

Arts Tax: Promises to voters only partly fulfilled (July 2015)

Highlights Report  |  December 2019

Translated Community Survey: Half report City is doing a good job

In 2016 the Auditor’s Annual Community Survey was translated into Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian and Chinese – the four most spoken languages in the City of Portland other than English. The results showed that respondents to both English and translated surveys share similar rankings of City services. 

After 2016, the Community Survey was discontinued

Highlights  Report  |  April 2017  

Portland's Financial Condition: Funding infrastructure should be high priority

The financial condition report focuses on the City’s financial trends over five years. The report helps decision makers to visualize the City’s course, to consider options, and make adjustments to improve the City’s long-term financial health.  The audit found that Portland’s financial condition is currently stable, but there are long-term challenges to address, such as increased pension liabilities and some assets losing value faster than the City can make repairs.

Highlights  |  Report  |  April 2017 

2016 Community Survey: Portlanders' ratings of city livability drop to new low

This report presents the results of our 26th annual survey of Portlanders.  In 2016 several new demographic questions were added, allowing for extra analysis on housing status, how long one has lived in the same residence, and disability. It also marks the first time the Community Survey was translated (into Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian and Chinese).

After 2016, the Community Survey was discontinued

Highlights  |  Report  |  November 2016 

Further audits on Performance and Community Surveys 

2015 Community Survey: Booming construction, traffic congestion, and costly housing - HIGHLIGHTS - (Report 473) - 11/5/15

2015 Community Survey: Booming construction, traffic congestion, and costly housing - FULL REPORT - (Report 473) - 11/5/15

Southwest Portland: Residents rate livability highly while some services are much worse than citywide (Report 467) - 7/8/15

City of Portland 24th annual community survey results (Report 463) - 10/29/14

East Portland: History of City services examined (Report 435) - 4/23/14

City of Portland 23rd Annual Community Survey Results (Report 450) - 10/30/13

City of Portland 22nd Annual Community Survey Results (Report 428) - 10/30/12

City of Portland 21st Annual Community Survey Results (Report 409) - 12/6/11