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Charter, Code and Policies

City of Portland



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3.77.110 Powers and Duties.

The Ombudsman’s powers and duties include, but are not limited to the following:

A. To investigate, on complaint or on the Ombudsman’s own initiative, any administrative act of an agency, without regard to the finality of the administrative act, if he or she reasonably believes that it is an appropriate subject for review;

B. To undertake, participate in or cooperate with persons and agencies in such general studies, conferences, inquiries, meetings, or studies which might improve the functioning of agencies or lessen the risks that objectionable administrative acts will occur;

C. To make such inquiries and obtain such reasonable assistance and information from any agency or person as the Ombudsman shall require for the discharge of the Ombudsman's duties; and he or she may without prior notice enter and inspect the premises of any agency. Agencies shall not restrict the Ombudsman's access to agency personnel;

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of city law, to have access to and to examine and copy, without payment of a fee, any agency records, including records which are confidential by city law, subject to any applicable state or federal laws. Except, the Ombudsman shall not have access to legally privileged documents held by the City Attorney or Attorney-Client communications held by the City Attorney clients. The Ombudsman shall not disclose confidential records and shall be subject to the same penalties as the legal custodian of the records for any unlawful or unauthorized disclosure;

E. To request any person or agency to give sworn testimony or to produce documentary or other evidence that is reasonably relevant to the matters under investigation;

F. To maintain confidential any matter related to complaints and investigations to the extent allowable by law, except as the Ombudsman deems necessary to discharge the Ombudsman's duties or as directed by the District Attorney pursuant to a public records request;

G. To take appropriate measures to enforce the provisions of this chapter, including issuing reports, submitting recommendations, or seeking Council authorization for legal recourse if necessary to carry out the duties of the Ombudsman Office;

H. To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulations required for the discharge of the Ombudsman's duties, including policies and procedures for receiving and processing complaints, conducting investigations, and reporting findings, conclusions and recommendations. However, the Ombudsman may not levy any fees for the submission or investigation of complaints;

I. To insure that a budget for the Office of the Ombudsman is well prepared and administered.