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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Technology Services

BTS HelpDesk: 503-823-5199

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1111, Portland, OR 97204

Segregation of Duties, Role Conflicts


Role conflict… segregation of duties… separation of duties…

What’s that all about? And why are you so picky about it, anyway?


In SAP, the database that operates the City, “roles” control who can perform certain actions. For example, one role allows a user to order goods and services, another role allows a user to approve the purchase. There’s a role that lets your timekeeper enter your time, and another role that lets your manager approve your time sheet.

It’s possible for roles to “conflict” creating the risk for fraud, the appearance of fraud, or to just plain make a mistake. For example, if one person has the ability to order, approve, buy, and receive goods with no one else involved in the process, there’s no way to verify that the correct merchandise was actually ordered from an appropriate vendor  – or that merchandise was ordered at all, even if the invoice was paid.

The City has specific rules, called internal controls, to reduce the risk of fraudulent spending. You’ll find the Accounting Administrative Rule at FIN 6.15 – Internal Controls and Management’s Responsibility.

Working with the City Controller, the EBS team maintains a list of roles that must be segregated.

While not recommended, there are cases where an exception can be granted under special circumstances by the City Controller. Your bureau change agent is the person who can provide more information on Segregation of Duties.


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Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?