To ensure that County government is efficient, effective, equitable, transparent, and fully accountable to its citizens.
- Promote efficiency, effectiveness, equity and accountability in our contacts with County personnel, elected officials, and the public.
- Effect change when needed and support existing good practices with technical assistance, advocacy, special studies and audits.
- Conduct our work in a professional, efficient and timely manner.
The scope of our work
The Multnomah County Auditor's Office emphasizes performance audits. Performance audits review County operations for compliance with laws and regulations, whether County assets are adequately safeguarded, and how efficiently and effectively County services are being provided. Performance audits focus on management issues and are valuable to the public for several reasons. First, performance audits make recommendations that reduce the cost or improve the quality of County services. Second, performance audits can also provide County Commissionersand the public with a better understanding of County issues and operations.
Performance audits test the reliability of assumptions and principles that are used in County decision-making. The Auditor's Office independently verifies management decisions that affect the quality and cost of services. We measure the efficiency and success of County activities. We evaluate the safekeeping of County assets. This testing, measuring, and evaluating can be laborious and time-consuming, but the results often translate into significant cost savings, service improvements, or reduced risks to County assets.
Reporting on results
The Auditor's Office writes its reports to answer the needs of three audiences: the public, the Board of County Commissioners, and the managers and staff who are involved in the area audited. The reports describe the results of our activities and generally focus on problem areas. We try to include in the report recognition for accomplishments and good efforts of the organizations we audit. However, by design, auditors focus on areas for improvement and we give these the most attention in our reports.
Although written reports are often perceived to be the result of our audit efforts, in fact, our desired result is improved services. To better resolve issues, we regularly brief the managers we are auditing on the results of our efforts, and provide them with drafts of our audits for review. We are also ready to provide them with more detailed explanations of our audit activities and results to assist them in addressing our recommendations.
CHAPTER VIII. FINANCE
(1) The office of county auditor is hereby established.
(2) At the general November election in 1966 and at the general November election every four years thereafter an auditor shall be elected. A candidate for auditor shall be a certified public accountant or certified internal auditor as of the date of filing for office, subject to the following provision. The office of auditor shall become vacant when the person serving as auditor ceases to be certified. Effective upon certification, the salary for the auditor shall be four-fifths of a circuit court judge's salary.
(3) The auditor shall conduct performance audits of all county operations and financial affairs and make reports thereof to the board of county commissioners according to generally accepted government auditing standards. The auditor may also conduct studies intended to measure or improve the performance of county efforts.
(4) The chair of the board of commissioners or the responsible elected official shall respond in writing to all audit reports stating what actions have been or will be taken to address the findings contained in the audit. The written response shall be made to the board and the auditor in the manner and time frame requested by the auditor.
(5) The board shall retain each report of the auditor and each response as a public record for at least three years after receiving the report and response.
[Amendment proposed by Ord. 427 §2 (1984) (ballot measure 21), adopted by people Nov. 6, 1984; amendment proposed by Ord. 603 §1 (1988), adopted by people March 28, 1989; amendment (ballot measures 26-76 and 26-84) adopted by people Nov. 3, 1998]
The Office uses internal control procedures to maintain the quality of the work that is completed and ensure that it meets professional standards. These controls include formal audit planning procedures, supervisory review, independent internal review of all work completed, and checking to ensure that all professional standards were met during the course of an audit.
The Office follows Government Auditing Standards. These standards require an external quality control review called a peer review every three years by independent external auditors from the local government auditing community. The Office participates with the Association of Local Government Auditors who selects the team of auditors and coordinates the review. The Office was first reviewed in 1996 and has been reviewed since in 1999, 2002, and 2005. Each time we were found in compliance with Government Auditing Standards. The most recent review, suggestions for improvements, and our response are available on our website.