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The City of Portland, Oregon

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

Planning & Sustainability

Year

Problem

Resolution

2015

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability did not ensure compliance with state conflict of interest law when it convened a series of stakeholder advisory committees to make land use and urban planning recommendations. State law required that committee members timely and publicly disclose if they could financially benefit from their recommendations. 

At the Ombudsman's suggestion, the bureau took corrective action, asking that committee members disclose potential conflicts of interest prior to City Council’s final vote. Going forward, the City Attorney's Office is offering a standard training for all advisory committees that will apprise members of their obligations as public officials under state ethics laws. 

2013

 

The Ombudsman followed up on media-reported concerns about a page on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s website that purportedly endorsed certain commercial entities. 

The Ombudsman investigated and determined that the bureau’s website conveyed the appearance of endorsing commercial entities in violation of Human Resources Administrative Rule 4. 8. Exceptions to the Rule may be granted by the elected official in charge if such endorsement is central to the bureau’s mission. The Mayor subsequently granted the bureau an exception.