Audits in the News: September

Audits in the News: A third-party audit, commissioned by the Audits Division, gets some attention.

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

The Secretary of State and the Oregon Audits Division commissioned a third-party audit of Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit, known as BETC. The credit, administered by the Department of Energy, had been the subject of a number of news articles in the past few months.

Earlier this month, the results of that investigation were released, also to some media coverage. You can read the Secretary’s letter, explaining the purpose for the audit and its findings, here.

Also be sure to read the full report here.

The Oregonian – Audit finds ‘suspicious behavior’ in dozens of energy projects that got Oregon tax credits

Read the story here.

“More than a quarter of the large business energy tax credits issued by the Oregon Department of Energy over eight years ‘seemed improper, violated statutes or rules, or exhibited suspicious activity,’ a first-ever independent audit of the controversial program found.”

Statesman Journal – Audit finds problems with some Oregon energy tax credits

Read the story here.

“An independent investigation of Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program found ‘concerning’ risk factors in more than one-third of the $1 billion in credits issued since 2007.

The Portland Tribune –Audit: ‘Suspicious behavior’ on energy credits forwarded to DOJ

Read the story here.

“Finding no direct evidence of fraud, Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins nevertheless has forwarded ‘circumstantial evidence of suspicious behavior’ in 79 projects that received business energy tax credits to the Oregon Department of Justice.”

Oregon Public Broadcasting –Audit: Shuttered Oregon Tax Credit Program Issued Money for Suspicious Projects

Read the story here.

“More than a third of the credits issued under a tax credit program for renewable energy companies in Oregon went to problematic projects.

That’s according to an independent analysis issued Thursday by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.

The report was prepared by a Portland-based consulting firm that specializes in financial crimes. It was paid for by the Secretary of State’s office.”

Audits in the News Featured New Audit Release

Audits in the News: July

Audits in the News: Financial reports, waste hotline are highlighted in the news.

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

The Oregon Audits Division does more than audits; we also issue county financial condition reports and manage the state’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline. This additional work was featured in some recent news reports.

Read the county financial condition review here, and read the report on our waste hotline here!

Statesman Journal – Polk County at ‘higher risk of distress’ on state financial report

Read the story here.

Polk County remains as one of four Oregon counties ‘at higher risk of distress,’ according to a recent Secretary of State report, but county commissioners said they have already taken steps to improve their fiscal status.

The report, released Tuesday, is the latest in a series of reports by the state every two years since 2012, with the intent of informing state legislators and county commissioners about regional needs. The next report is scheduled to be released in 2018.”

Statesman Journal – Reports of government waste surge in 2015

Read the story here.

“Reports to the state government waste hotline increased 35 percent during 2015, according to an audit released Wednesday by the Secretary of State’s office.

The hotline was created in 1995 for state employees and members of the public to report government waste or fraud. 243 confidential reports were logged in 2015. Work environment problems were the most common reason for reports, followed by reports of fraud, theft or kickbacks.”

KTVZ – Oregon Govt. Waste Hotline complaints jump 35 percent

Read the story here.

The Oregon Audits Division in the Office of the Secretary of State released its annual report on the Government Waste Hotline Wednesday, showing a 35 percent jump in complaints over the previous year.”

Audits in the News Featured New Audit Release

Audits in the News: June

Audits in the News: Portland audit shop earns a media mention.

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

The Audits Division isn’t the only audit shop getting media attention for its work. Our friends in the Portland City Auditor’s Office recently released an audit on billing campaigns for presidential visits — an especially timely and relevant issue.

Read the full audit here!

KATU – Audit: Portland should bill for services to campaign visits

Read the story here.

“Portland should follow its current policy and charge for police and other services provided when presidential campaigns visit the city, according to a report released Tuesday by the city’s auditor. The city hasn’t billed presidential campaigns for police protection, traffic control and other costs in nearly two years, as it has done in the past, the report said. Campaign visits from October 2014 to April 2016 have cost the city at least $180,000 in police regular and overtime pay.”

The Portland Tribune – Audit: City should stop subsidizing presidential campaigns

Read the story here.

“Portland has spent at least $180,000 to support visits by presidential candidates and their surrogates during the past two years without making any effort to get reimbursed — despite a city policy to the contrary, according to a new audit by the city auditor’s office.”

The Oregonian/OregonLive – Portland didn’t bill presidential campaigns for $180,000 in costs

Read the story here.

“City auditors say Portland should bill presidential campaigns to cover high security costs when political candidates or emissaries come to town. That hasn’t happened recently, and city taxpayers are out an estimated $180,000. It shouldn’t be that way, according to the report, released Tuesday by Auditor Mary Hull Caballero. Portland policy requires the city to bill for its services. But officials haven’t, saying they didn’t think campaigns would pay up.”

 

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Audits in the News: May

Audits in the News: Prior audit work on delinquent debt appears in an article

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

The Audits Division’s work continues to garner mentions by Oregon media, as reporters continue to explore issues covered in previous audits.

Capital Bureau/Portland Tribune – State vendors who owe taxes, other debt continue to be paid

Read the story here.

“Auditors in the secretary of state’s office already found instances in which the state could have recovered debt by intercepting state payments to some of these vendors. In a state audit released last fall, the auditors found “more than 9,000 state debtors were on the state vendor list and had received payments or were authorized to receive payments.” Auditors found specific instances in which the state could have recouped some of the debt owed, by intercepting payments to the vendors.”

Revisit that audit here.

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Audits in the News: April

Audits in the News: Former audits continue to appear in the news

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

The Audits Division’s work continues to garner mentions by Oregon media, as reporters continue to explore issues covered in previous audits.

The Oregonian/OregonLive – Higher Ed Reading List: What a 2013 Oregon audit said about relying on out-of-state students

Read the story here.

“While Oregon’s auditors haven’t taken a deep dive into the resident/nonresident fight, the state’s Audit Division has cited the issue in a past report. The phenomenon came up during a 2013 audit titled, “Opportunities to Control Costs, Imp[rove Student Outcomes and Clarify Governance Structure.””

Revisit that audit here.

 
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Audits in the News: March

Audits in the News: Oregon Youth Authority needs to offer more transition options for female youth offenders.

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

The Audits Division recently released its performance audit of the Oregon Youth Authority, which found significantly fewer transition services available to female youth offenders than their male counterparts.

You can read the complete audit here.

KTVZ – Audit: OYA transition help for young women falling short

Read the story here.

An audit released Thursday by the office of Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins finds that transition services for female youth in state custody lag behind those available to males. While a transition program for young women currently exists as a pilot program, funding for the female-centered services are only allocated through mid-2017 and the program’s future is in question if additional resources are not secured, they noted.”

KLCC – Female Juvenile Offender Programs Found Lacking

Read and listen to the story here.

A recent audit by the Secretary of State’s office finds transition programs for female youth in state custody lag behind those available to males. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, the unequal service is a problem for county juvenile departments and the Oregon Youth Authority.”

The Register-Guard – Editorial: A shortage of services

Read the story here.

“Young women and girls make up a growing percentage of offenders in the juvenile justice system in Oregon. But services to help them get back on track and become productive members of their communities are sorely lacking, according to a new audit by the secretary of state’s office.

Audits in the News Featured New Audit Release

Audits in the News: February

Audits in the News: ODFW lacks a long-term strategy and TSPC must overcome backlogs to improve its services.

We here in the audits division are proud that the work we do makes a difference. Our work attracts the attention of the legislature, statewide news sources, and even local media outlets. Local media coverage of our audits is just another way we communicate with the people of Oregon about the work that we’re doing on their behalf to make government better. This is part of an ongoing series of posts rounding up recent instances in which the Oregon Audits Division makes a cameo in the local news.

 

Our first audit of the new year found that Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife was in need of a comprehensive management strategy that included a long-term plan for how to sustain operations.

You can read the complete audit here.

Oregon Public Broadcasting – Audit Suggests ODFW Lacks Long-Term Strategy

Read the story here.

“The state agency that manages hunting and fishing in Oregon is lacking a long-term strategy according to an audit by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office released Thursday. The audit says the Oregon Department Of Fish And Wildlife, known as ODFW, has a recurring cash flow problem. The agency has managed to stay afloat by reducing staff, raising fees, and delaying maintenance on facilities such as fish hatcheries.”

The Bend Bulletin– Struggling ODFW may target birders, wildlife viewers for revenue

Read the story here.

“ODFW has been beset by what some hunters and anglers say is a vicious cycle of the agency raising the cost of licenses to hunt and fish, which they say leads to fewer people buying licenses. That decline then leads to budget woes for the department, they say. A recent audit by the Secretary of State’s office also paints a dire picture for the long-term sustainability of the top conservation agency in Oregon as its costs rise much faster than revenues.”


 

The Audits Division also released an audit of the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. The audit found that, despite recent improvements in service to educators, the agency was still facing a substantial backlog in issuing licenses, investigating complaints and responding to educator questions.

You can read the complete audit here.

The Oregonian/OregonLive – Oregon teacher licenses: Audit finds long delays, poisonous relationships – but recent improvements

Read the story here.

“Months-long delays and poor customer service have been hallmarks of Oregon’s teacher licensing agency for years. Both are improving, thanks to beefed-up staffing and a new online licensing system that is replacing an archaic one. But problems remain, due largely to nonexistent performance expectations for managers and front-line employees, and botched communications with staffers and the public. These are among the findings of a top-to-bottom audit of Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, released Thursday.

The Portland Tribune – Audit finds serious backlogs at teacher licensing agency

Read the story here.

“Mismanagement, outdated technology and staffing shortages at the state’s teacher licensing agency have resulted in four-month-long waits for teacher licenses, years-long investigations into teacher misconduct and poor morale, according to an audit by the Secretary of State’s Office.”

The Statesman Journal – Commission needs to make improvements, audit determines

Read the story here.

“Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission needs to improve its work environment and increase accountability to address substantial delays in its core services for educators, an audit released Thursday by Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins said.”

KTVZ TV – Audit: Teacher licensing board taking too long to resolve cases

Read the story here.

“The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission needs to improve its work environment and increase accountability to address substantial delays in its core services for teachers and other educators, according to an audit released Thursday by Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins.”

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