Letter from the Auditor

photo of Auditor Jennifer McGuirk
Auditor Jennifer McGuirk

This month I was grateful to spend time learning from community members about their experiences with government and their County-related concerns. I participated in Race Talks' February 12th event, Engaging Democracy, at the Kennedy School. I connected with attendees on how the County auditing process works, the scope of my office and duties, and how to maximize involvement in governmental processes. On February 24th, I attended a Town Hall hosted by the Q Center and other organizations to hear people’s experiences and concerns about hate-based crimes reported by LGBTQI+ people in the Portland area over the last few weeks. As many as 500 people attended this town hall. I greatly appreciated participants sharing their feelings, experiences, and strategies for keeping safe and for addressing this violence systemically and as a community. I look forward to connecting with community members throughout the year. Read on to learn more about my office's participation in the Justice Reinvestment Summit, opportunities to become a member of the Board of County Commissioners Audit Committee, and the upcoming presentation of the County Ethical Culture Survey.

Justice Reinvestment Summit

photo of psychologist Dr. Craig Haney
Dr. Craig Haney, a researcher on the Stanford Prison Experiment and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, spoke about the need to focus on the humanity of justice-involved people.
I traveled with five of my office's staff auditors to Salem for the state's Justice Reinvestment Summit. Alongside nearly 1,400 other attendees from Multnomah County and across the state, my team learned about emerging practices to reduce recidivism and incarcerations, increase public safety, and hold offenders accountable. In addition to sessions on better practices for probation and parole, we learned about efforts to improve the intersection of behavioral health and criminal justice and about incarceration practices in Norway that focus on preparing incarcerated people to be good neighbors and taxpayers. These topics were particularly relevant to our in-process audit on how well community mental health programs are serving individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and to our upcoming audit on County jail conditions. Sessions included: understanding and addressing implicit bias, developing an effective local community criminal justice/mental health system, and pretrial justice. Each session staff attended will inform future work on justice-related topics.

Apply to sit on the BOCC Audit Committee

The Audit Committee of the Board of Commissioners (BOCC) is seeking two community members to serve as Audit Committee members. The Audit Committee serves as a liaison between the Board, the independent external auditor and management, as their duties relate to financial accounting, reporting, and internal controls and compliance. 

The Committee is the county's agent in assuring the independence of the county's external auditors, the integrity of management, and the adequacy of disclosures to the public. Applications will be accepted through March 22, 2019. Learn more about the Audit Committee and complete an application.  

March Presentations at the Board of County Commissioners Meetings

photo of Auditor's presenting before the County Board of Commissioners
Nicole Dewees and Jennifer McGuirk presenting audit findings at a Board of County Commissioners meeting.

March 21: County Ethical Culture Survey

Meetings take place at the BOCC Board Room, located on the first floor of the Multnomah Building: 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

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