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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

Management & Finance

Year

Problem

Resolution

2018

A Portlander experiencing homelessness complained about the City’s 24-hour notice for sweeping campsite. He reported that it was difficult to know when his belongings would be removed because the notice did not provide the time.

The Ombudsman argued that including the time on the notice would not only benefit campers by letting them know the earliest time at which their personal belongings could be removed. But it would also demonstrate the City’s compliance with the legal settlement governing campsite clean-up. The City agreed to include a time of posting on the notices.

2017

A community member complained that a contracted security official assigned to a City building was wearing a “Blue Lives Matter” patch on his cap during a protest of a Portland Police shooting.

The Ombudsman brought the allegation to the attention of a Facilities Services manager, who oversees the security contract. The manager investigated and confirmed the allegation. The manager and the security official agreed that wearing the patch at work was not appropriate.

2012

 

A City employee anonymously reported concerns that a no-bid contract with a former City employee was the result of a quid pro quo arrangement with a current Office of Management and Finance administrator. 

The Ombudsman conducted an investigation. Although the Ombudsman did not find evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement, the investigation raised several general concerns, including the prudence of sole-sourcing to former City employees, the adequacy of the dollar threshold for public notice and opportunity for protest, and the sufficiency of the public contracting oversight structure. The Ombudsman brought the concerns to the Mayor’s attention.