Secretary of State Bev Clarno Releases Biennial Report on the State of Oregon’s Financial Condition

Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno released the biennial report on Oregon’s financial condition, which presents selected high-level economic and demographic indicators for the 10-year period ending June 30, 2018. The report is not an audit, but an informational report analyzing revenues, expenditures, long-term debt, fiscal health, and demographics.

“This report provides useful information to help decision-makers capitalize on opportunities, tackle challenges, and manage the state’s financial condition timely and effectively,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “Oregon’s financial health has improved in many areas since the Great Recession, but work remains to continue this trend.”

The following are some of the aspects of Oregon’s financial condition noted in the report:

  • Human services and education continue to be the largest expenditures by program area.

  • The state continues to make its required pension contributions. As of December 31, 2017, the state’s funded liability was about 80%.

  • As Oregonians returned to work, tax revenues and personal income per capita increased, while unemployment insurance expenditures continued to decline.

  • Oregon’s population is aging, presenting challenges of increasing health care costs.

Read the full report on the Secretary of State website.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Releases Report Following Up on Recommendations Made to the Department of Revenue

Salem, OR – Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno released a follow-up report on recommendations made to the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) in a 2018 audit assessing the agency’s GenTax computer system. According to today’s follow-up report, auditors found DOR has made steady progress in addressing the original audit’s findings and recommendations.

While DOR has made progress in addressing the audit recommendations, ongoing effort is needed to fully implement or resolve them all. The agency also declined at this time to pursue the auditors’ recommendation to obtain an independent assessment of vendor security controls and has not yet finalized and tested disaster recovery plans.

“Failure to periodically test backup systems and to insure independent verification of security encryption provided by third parties should be addressed,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno.

Read the full report on the Secretary of State website.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Releases Follow-up Report on DHS Foster Care Audit

SALEM, Ore. - Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno released a follow-up report on recommendations made to the Department of Human Services in the January 2018 audit on foster care in Oregon. In the original audit 24 recommendations were made, and while each concern has been acknowledged by DHS, only eight have been fully implemented. Extensive work remains to improve child safety in foster care and the child welfare system.

“There is nothing more important than the wellbeing of children,” said Secretary Clarno. “DHS is moving in the right direction, but there is still work that needs to be done to ensure proper staffing, suitable foster homes and residential facilities, and a better overall culture. I hope that the findings in this follow-up report lead to a safer and more secure environment for our foster kids.”

Remaining areas of concern noted in the report include overburdened caseworkers, a shortage of foster homes, and issues with the new central abuse reporting hotline.

To read the original audit and the follow-up report, visit the Secretary of States website.

Statement from Secretary of State Bev Clarno on the passing of Senator Jackie Winters

Secretary of State Bev Clarno issued the following statement following the news of the passing of Senator Jackie Winters:

“Oregon has lost a true giant today, and our hearts are heavy. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jackie for over 20 years, and she was always a steadfast champion for children, for families, and for justice. She was always so proud of her work with Governor Vic Atiyeh as his Ombudsman, and carried the lessons she learned there throughout her career. She was the epitome of working with all and a master of bipartisanship! She will be missed by all who serve here in the Capitol, her community, and her family. She was a true and dedicated public servant, and Oregon is better because she dedicated her life to public service."

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Releases Follow-up Report on Recommendations Made to OLCC

Salem, OR - Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno released a follow-up report on the 2018 audit  of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s Cannabis Information System. The follow-up report found that OLCC has taken steps to improve the states recreational marijuana program and the information systems that support it, but found opportunities to increase recreational marijuana regulation processes and IT security.

“Voters approved the production, sale, and use of recreational marijuana in Oregon, and it is important that OLCC has a secure and reliable system to track cannabis in the state,” said Secretary Clarno. “Recreational marijuana is a high-risk industry. This follow-up report identifies improvements made by  OLCC, and several areas where OLCC can enhance the tracking systems and increase security to make the Cannabis Information Systems more secure.”

The agency is working with the Cannabis Tracking System vendor to improve system functionality and update security requirements.

Read the full report on the Secretary of State website.

Secretary Clarno Announces Director of Civics Education

Salem, Ore. – Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno announced that Mary Beth Herkert will begin serving as Director of Civics Education starting June 3rd.

“After serving as the State Archivist for 14 years, I have asked Mary Beth Herkert to serve in a new role with the Secretary of State,” said Secretary of State Clarno. “As the Director of Civics Education, Mary Beth will continue to manage the Kid Governor Program and will create and implement a new Civics Education Program, working with schools around the state to increase civics education and provide access to key documents regarding Oregon as a state. Mary Beth has dedicated so much of her life to Oregon history and to the Secretary of State, and I am so pleased that she will be tackling this new role for Oregon.”

“Mary Beth Herkert is a true Oregon treasure,” said Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “Her nearly 35 years of service to the Oregon State Archives has provided her with a knowledge of Oregon’s history that is unsurpassed.   Secretary of State Clarno was right on target in asking Mary Beth to assume new responsibilities that will allow her to share her knowledge with citizens and students across our state.”

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Releases Annual Report on the Government Waste Hotline

Salem, OR —Today, the Secretary of State Audits Division released its annual report on the Oregon Government Waste Hotline. This report summarizes the activities of the division's government waste hotline during 2018.

“This hotline is an important tool that Oregon citizens and state employees can use to increase government accountability and transparency,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “Waste in state government costs all of us by reducing resources available for services. We take seriously the reports received through the hotline, and we are committed to doing everything possible to hold state government accountable to the citizens of Oregon. I was a member of the Legislature when the Government Waste Hotline was developed, and its’s encouraging to see this tool being used to clean up government waste.”

The Audits Division investigated 317 reports made to the hotline in 2018. Since its inception in 1995, the hotline has identified about $16 million of questioned costs, errors, and savings that could result from improved efficiencies or elimination of waste or abuse. Citizens and state employees concerned about government waste and inefficiencies should contact the hotline at (800) 336-8218 or visit the hotline website here.

Read the full report on the Secretary of State website.

News About Your Government

Greetings!

The Audits Division is working hard on follow up reports to recent audits, and the next slate of performance audits are due to be released this summer. Recent follow up reports include the “Keeping Oregon Accountable” report on the 2018 fiscal year, a review of progress made by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, and an update on the Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Permitting Process.

Secretary Richardson developed the 2019-2020 audit plan last year, and that plan will be completed. Like Secretary Richardson, I am committed to using the resources of the Audits Division to better inform citizens about how your state government is performing, and providing you with information on how your tax dollars are being spent.

The Audits Division was recently reviewed by the National State Auditors Association and is in full compliance with government auditing standards. I am very proud of the work the Audits Division is doing by increasing public trust and government transparency.

Recently the legislature passed House Bill 2325, an important piece of legislation that will allow Oregon Tribes to register their business entities with the Oregon Secretary of State at the domestic Oregon business registration rate. This was a collaborative effort that will support State-Tribal government-to-government relationships and encourage economic development in tribal communities and rural parts of the state.


Capitol Visitors and Events

We have had many visitors to my Capitol office and attended some wonderful events here in Salem. It’s always great to hear from Oregonians and learn more about the things they are working on.

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Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway stopped by to discuss his interests in education and growing the business community in Hillsboro. Deputy Secretary of State Vial had worked with Mayor Callaway in the past and expressed appreciation for his extensive community service.

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Cadets from the Oregon Youth Challenge Program spent the day at the Capitol learning about the legislative process. I always enjoy visiting with these young Oregonians and learning about their experience with the Oregon Youth Challenge Program. I first joined their board in 1993, we literally save kids that have failed in our public school system.

 

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May 14th was the annual Armed Forces Day ceremony at the State Capitol. It was an honor to meet Rita Hathaway, who was a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ during WWII, and Joy Beebe who was a WWII war bride from England.