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Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Internal Business Services

BIBS is the provider of central services for the City of Portland

Contract Risk Transfer and Insurance Business Decisions

City of Portland

Risk Management

Contract Decision Making Guideline



Vendor Contract Risk Transfer and Insurance Requirements

The Loss Prevention Unit’s core responsibility is to assist bureaus to protect city-owned assets and minimize loss to the city’s self insurance fund. The city’s self-insurance fund does not cover contractual liability.  Contract risk transfer and insurance business decisions are the primary responsibility of bureau contract staff. However, the Loss Prevention Unit is available to handle questions regarding risk transfer and commercial insurance requirements for vendor solicitations and contracts meeting the following criteria:

  • High value
  • High risk
  • Emerging or unusual risks
  • Political or controversial

If you have questions about risk transfer or insurance coverage in a contract, here are the steps to take before calling Risk Management:

  • Call your bureau Contract or Purchasing Manager. These staff members have special training and can likely handle all of your questions.
  • Review any prior contracts that are similar in nature to the current issue. We find that most questions have been answered before and are already in bureau records.
  • Conduct additional research, as needed regarding insurance, risk assessment and risk management. Research Tips are available to assist you in this endeavor.
  • Review the Smart Contracting Toolkit and make adequate efforts to locate needed information.
    • If, after adequate efforts, you do not find the answer to your question there, or want to have additional discussion about the materials or tools, ask your bureau contract manager to call the Insurance and Loss Prevention Manager in Risk Management.
    • Smart Contracting Toolkit – On-line risk toolkit covering non-insurance risk transfer information; standardized insurance clauses; insurance recommendations by contract type; supplementary insurance clauses; information on bond types and applications; and additional insurance related resource information.
  • Conduct an adequate Risk Assessment.
    • We will ask you to send us a completed risk assessment. You will likely need to involve bureau program managers in the risk assessment process unless you are familiar with the activities or work to be done in the contract.
    • Risk Assessment Road Map Toolkit – On-line risk toolkit to assess activity and contract related risks. Assists the user in making risk adjusted business decisions that protect the city’s best interests. 


Note: Risk Management must review and agree to any contract that extends the city's liability coverage to a contractor.
If you still need to call Risk Management,

  • Get the information to us as early as possible.
    • We need at least 7 working days. Within that timeframe we will let you know if we can assist you, or if we will direct you to other resources.
    • Tell us how this is a new or unusual contract for your bureau.
    • Send us your Risk Assessment.
    • To help us improve the Smart Contracting Toolkit, tell us how you used it to try to answer your questions. 

Is Your Bureau a Vendor of Services to a Non-City Entity?

  • Contact Risk Management if your bureau has been asked to provide a Certificate of Insurance(link coming soon) as proof of city insurance coverage.
  • Risk Management insures its risk of loss(link coming soon) through a combination of self-insurance and commercial policies.