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Charter, Code and Policies

City of Portland



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3.77.120 Investigations of Complaints.

A. The Ombudsman shall receive complaints from any source concerning any administrative act. He or she may conduct a suitable investigation of a complaint that is an appropriate subject for investigation. An appropriate subject for investigation by the Ombudsman includes any administrative act that the Ombudsman believes might be:

1. contrary to, law, regulation or agency practice;

2. unreasonable, unfair, oppressive, arbitrary, an abuse of discretion, or unnecessarily discriminatory even though in accordance with law;

3. based on mistaken facts or irrelevant considerations;

4. unclear or not adequately explained;

5. performed in an inefficient or discourteous manner;

6. otherwise erroneous or objectionable.

B. The Ombudsman, at the Ombudsman’s discretion, may decide not to investigate a complaint because:

1. the complainant could reasonably be expected to use, or is using, another remedy or channel, or tort claim, for the grievance stated in the complaint;

2. the complaint relates to a matter that is outside the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman;

3. the complaint has been too long delayed to justify present examination;

4. the complainant does not have a sufficient personal interest in, or is not personally aggrieved by, the subject matter of the complaint;

5. the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith;

6. the resources of the Ombudsman's Office are insufficient for adequate investigation;

7.  other complaints are more worthy of attention.

C. The Ombudsman shall not investigate matters currently in litigation; covered by collective bargaining agreement grievance procedures; or, employee or applicant discrimination complaints.

D. The Ombudsman's declining to investigate a complaint shall not bar the Ombudsman from proceeding on his or her own initiative to investigate an administrative act whether or not included in the complaint.

E.  The Ombudsman shall protect the confidentiality of complainants or witnesses coming before him or her consistent with the requirements of the Oregon Public Records Law, except insofar as disclosures may be necessary to enable the Ombudsman to carry out his or her duties or the disclosure of records is directed by the District Attorney. (See Subsection 3.77 110 F.)

F. The Ombudsman shall have the authority to pursue administrative review of responses to complaints through higher authorities within the City.