Read the executive summary on this page and download the pdf for the full report.
The Public Guardian/Conservator’s Program (the Program), within Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services’ Aging, Disability, and Veterans Services Division, obtains and implements court-appointed guardianship and/or conservatorship for people who are profoundly mentally incapacitated, unable to care for themselves, and currently at high risk due to abuse, exploitation or extreme self-neglect. Public Guardian and their deputies assist in making varying levels of decisions with and on behalf of the incapacitated person (client). The Program serves a small but very vulnerable population and has legal authority over some or even all, in some cases, of the client’s health and welfare decision making; therefore, we determined the Program to be inherently risky. Due to the level of decision making for these persons and the inherent risk, we determined it was essential to perform an audit of this program since it had not been audited since 2000.
Overall we found procedures and internal control processes to be in place, well designed, and implemented. Program management was involved in the operations of the Program and well informed on the details of client cases. Through our analysis we observed that relief to caseload levels per deputy, with the addition of a deputy guardian to the Program in fiscal year 2016, resulted in an increase in program performance.