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Office of the Ombudsman

A division of the Portland City Auditor's Office

phone: 503-823-0144

email: ombudsman@portlandoregon.gov

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 310, Portland, OR 97204

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Publications

Ombudsman remarks to City Council in support of an ordinance to contain toxic dust during demolitions

February 1, 2018

The Ombudsman investigated a community member’s complaint about unabated health risks posed by residential demolitions. After discovering a regulatory and governance gap that left families and children in East Portland without protections from the toxic dust stirred up by demolitions, the Ombudsman recommended that the City work with the Multnomah County Health Department to adopt regulations. The ordinance adopted by Council is responsive to the Ombudsman’s recommendations and represents a vital step in protecting all children and neighborhoods from the toxic and potentially devastating consequences of lead exposure. It is also a model that other jurisdictions can look to.

Video remarks by Deputy Ombudsman Tony Green:

Full video of the City Council meeting on amending the Building Demolition Code is available online.


Ombudsman Comments on Portland Police Directive 630.61 (Stolen Vehicles)

January 23, 2018

During an open comment period on a Police Bureau Directive regarding stolen vehicles, the Ombudsman submitted comments that raised concerns about the unfairness of a policy that requires crime victims to pay for the return of their own stolen property. Citing the experiences of community members, the potential disparate impact of the current policy, and fairer practices in other cities, the Ombudsman encouraged the City to modify its stolen vehicles policy.

 


Letter of Concern to City Council regarding Local Transportation Infrastructure Charge (LTIC)

December 4, 2017

"The purpose of the letter is to draw attention to the Local Transportation Infrastructure Charge (LTIC), a relatively new program designed to collect money from property owners to pay for infrastructure improvements. Although the program has successfully collected additional revenue for public improvements, it has also has resulted in inequities that we encourage Council to address."


Ombudsman Report: 911 Hold Times Longer Than Reported

Report issued on June 7, 2017

The Bureau of Emergency Communications is responsible for providing the public with a seamless and reliable 911 service. One of the key measurements of the Bureau’s performance is how quickly 911 operators answer emergency calls. The length of time on hold directly influences how rapidly paramedics, firefighters and police officers respond to individual emergencies and largescale disasters. Minutes can be the difference between a life saved or a life lost.

Despite the ongoing staffing challenges, the Bureau has consistently reported exceeding one of its key performance standards. It claims that nearly 100 percent of 911 calls are answered in under 20 seconds. It also claims that the average time to answer a 911 call is one second. For the reasons outlined in the Ombudsman’s report, the Bureau’s staffing shortage is already compromising service levels. Contrary to the Bureau’s assertions, it is performing well below accepted standards. 

To read the full report, click on the report image or click here.


Ombudsman Report: Problem with City's Emergency Communications System

Report issued on December 21, 2016

Opened in the wake of a fatal house fire, the Ombudsman's investigation focused on the discovery of a technological flaw in the City's system for screening cell phone calls to 911. The flaw prevents operators from calling back thousands of emergency calls each year where the caller either hung up or was disconnected before speaking with an operator. It also caused underreporting of call hold times and abandoned call rates.

To read the full report, click on the report image or click here


Ombudsman Response to West Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee Complaint

 

October 21, 2015. (Published due to high volume of public records requests.)


Annual Reports

The Annual Report is your look inside the work of the Ombudsman’s Office. The report offers Portland residents, City leaders and employees a snapshot of our oversight and accountability efforts during the past calendar year.

2016 Ombudsman Annual Report     2015 Ombudsman Annual Report

2014 Ombudsman Annual Report   2013 Ombudsman Annual Report

2012 Ombudsman Annual Report