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The City of Portland, Oregon

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City of Portland

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Chapter 1.07 Documentation of Rules & Policies


- Note

(Chapter added by Ordinance No. 175959, effective October 26, 2001.)


1.07.010 Purpose.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)  The purpose of this Chapter is to establish a procedure by which formally adopted policies and administrative rules are collected and maintained in a format that provides easy access for the public. The repository created by this Chapter supplements other resources that are maintained independently, such as the Portland City Code and the City’s Comprehensive Plan.


1.07.020 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 177556 and 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)    As used in this Chapter, the following definitions apply:

A.  “Binding City Policy” means statements of the City Council, expressed in a resolution or ordinance, that are directed to future decision-making or procedure and have binding effect or serve as mandatory approval criteria.  Such resolutions or ordinances must state in their text that the policy being adopted is a “Binding City Policy.”  Examples include policies establishing requirements for City employees or other matters regulating the City’s budget and internal management.  This category of policies excludes Comprehensive Plan policies, which are organized separately.

B.  “Non-binding City Policy” means a statement of the City Council’s opinion,  expressed in a resolution or ordinance, which does not have binding effect or serve as mandatory approval criteria for future decision-making. Such resolutions or ordinances must state in their text that the policy being adopted is a “Non-Binding City Policy.”  Examples include statements urging support for charitable or political efforts and statements encouraging civic involvement.

C.  “Administrative rule” means binding requirements, regulations or procedures that are formally adopted by the City Council, by a City official pursuant to rule-making authority expressly delegated by the City Council through a binding resolution or ordinance, or by the City Auditor pursuant to rule-making authority granted by the City Charter or delegated by the City Council.  An administrative rule must be labeled as or  state in its text that it is an “Administrative Rule.”

D.  “Bureau Policy” means a requirement or procedure adopted by a Bureau, Department or Office in the absence of formally delegated rule-making authority that has binding effect on the Bureau, Department or Office. Examples include bureau-specific work rules and administrative procedures. 

E.  “Formally adopted” means adopted by City Council, by another City official pursuant to procedures contained in a delegation of authority from the City Council, or by the City Auditor pursuant to rule-making authority granted by the City Charter or delegated by the City Council.

F.  “Comprehensive Plan Policy” means a policy that relates to the exercise of the City’s zoning and land use responsibilities.

G.  “Legislation” means a municipal law, enacted by ordinance.


1.07.030 Creation of Portland Policy Documents Repository.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)  The City Auditor shall post all binding City policies, non-binding City policies, and administrative rules to an online repository to be known as the Portland Policy Documents.  The repository shall be publicly available via the internet. Costs for providing paper copies of documents included in the repository or other services shall be recovered according to the standard practice of the Auditor’s Office.


1.07.040 Creation of Index.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)  The City Auditor shall create an index of documents in the repository, organized by subject matter and by any additional methods deemed appropriate by the City Auditor, to assist users with identifying and locating documents.  The City Auditor may also, in the City Auditor’s discretion, provide automated tools for searching documents.


1.07.050 Publication to the Internet.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)  The City Auditor shall publish repository documents to the internet. Documents published to the internet shall constitute the official repository required by this Chapter.


1.07.060 Submission of Documents to City Auditor for Filing in the Portland Policy Document Repository.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 177556, 178099, 178475 and 189613, effective August 23, 2019.) 

A.  Each City official adopting, amending or repealing documents that are required to be retained in the repository shall furnish the City Auditor with a copy of the new or amended documents, or information concerning any items that are repealed, within 2 weeks of such adoption, amendment or repeal.

B.  All documents submitted for inclusion shall be submitted in electronic form, using the format specified by the City Auditor.

C.   Bureau, department and office policies that are not administrative rules or binding City policies are maintained and documented by the individual bureau, department or office. If such policies impact the public, the bureau, department or office is encouraged to submit the policies for inclusion in the repository.

D.  Comprehensive Plan policies are organized and maintained within the framework of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and are not included in the repository.

E.  Legislation is codified and maintained separately in the Portland City Code and is not included in the repository.


1.07.070 Format.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)  Although retaining flexibility in the format of individual policy documents is preferred, the City Auditor is authorized to establish a standard format for documents that are retained in the repository to facilitate compilation and use of those documents by the public.  Bureaus are authorized to reformat documents to comply with the City Auditor’s requirements without engaging in rule-making procedures, so long as the reformatting does not result in substantive changes.


1.07.080 Status.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 177556, 178099, 178475 and 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)  Documents kept in the repository are not legislation.  Rules and policies establishing requirements for City employees or other matters regulating the City’s budget and internal management are binding on City bureaus and employees.  Administrative rules are binding pursuant to the delegation of authority under which the rules were adopted. Documents in the repository are not land use decisions and do not in any manner constitute criteria for future decisions in the land use context. 


1.07.090 Other City Documents Not Affected.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 189613, effective August 23, 2019.)  Documents required to be filed in the repository represent a small percentage of the documents used in the performance of the City’s business.  Nothing in this Chapter is intended or shall be construed as limiting the availability or effect of documents that are not required to be filed in the repository.