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.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Releases “Keeping Oregon Accountable” Report

Salem, OR — Today, the Secretary of State Audits Division released its annual “Keeping Oregon Accountable” report. This report summarizes the results of the division's two largest annual audits: the audit of Oregon's financial statements, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), and a compliance audit of the state’s administration of federal programs, otherwise known as the Statewide Single Audit.

“State agencies are accountable to the citizens of Oregon for how they use public money,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “Preparing accurate financial statements is a key responsibility for ensuring transparency and accountability, and providing decision makers and stakeholders with accurate financial information. Our auditors found no evidence of fraud, but there were accounting errors totaling $809 million, which calls for continued improvement in our process. Other states do a much better job of public accountability with their finances, and it is time that Oregon looks at making serious improvements to our level of transparency.”

The audits provide an independent professional opinion on the accuracy of the state's financial statements and compliance with federal rules and are required for the state to receive over $11 billion in federal monies for important social, economic, and environmental programs in Oregon.

Read the full report and prior year summary reports on the Secretary of State website.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Releases Statement on Passing of Bob Maxwell

Salem, OR – Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno issued the following statement on the news of the passing of Bob Maxwell, the nation’s oldest Medal of Honor recipient.

“It was an honor to know Bob and count him as a friend. He was a true American hero who served his country and community valiantly. He will be greatly missed.”

Bob Maxwell served during World War II and was awarded the Medal of Honor, Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and the French Croix de Guerre and the Legion d’honneur for his service during the war. He was a longtime Bend auto shop teacher and served as director of the Bend Heroes Foundation, helping to build veterans memorials throughout Oregon.

Secretary of State Releases Report Following Up on Recommendations Made to the Governor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management

Salem, OR – Today, the Secretary of State released a report showing the Governor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have taken many steps to better prepare Oregon for a major disaster by implementing or resolving nine of the 11 recommendations made in audit report 2018-03, "The State Must Do More to Prepare Oregon for a Catastrophic Disaster."

“The Governor’s Office and OEM have taken significant action to get Oregon ready for a major disaster,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “We still have work to do to ensure the state is prepared to weather a disaster, but planning is well underway.”

In the original audit 11 recommendations were issued. These recommendations focused on improved planning, better internal policies and guidance, increased transparency, and ensuring Oregon’s statewide emergency management system has sufficient resources to reduce the state’s vulnerability to disasters.

Read the full audit on the Secretary of State website.

Secretary of State Releases Report Following Up on Recommendations Made to Department of Environmental Quality

 

Salem, OR – Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno released a report showing the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has made progress towards implementing the recommendations made in an audit report released last year, “Department of Environmental Quality Should Improve the Air Quality Permitting Process to Reduce Its Backlog and Better Safeguard Oregon’s Air”.

“Additional work is still needed to fully implement the remaining recommendations,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “This includes developing additional permit writer and applicant guidance for all types of permits, creating a permanent data system that consolidates the tracking of inspections across all regions, and taking additional steps to begin succession planning across the agency.”

The full report can be read here.

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Secretary of State Auditors Win National Award for Audit on Foster Care

SALEM, OR — The National State Auditors Association (NSAA) announced today that the Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division has won the Excellence in Accountability Award for its audit of Oregon’s foster care system.

The purpose of the audit, issued in January of 2018, was to determine necessary changes and improvements that the Department of Human Services (DHS) can make to better promote the wellbeing of children in foster care.

“Congratulations to the team that worked on this important audit, this recognition is much deserved,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “Audits like this bring to light serious issues that must be addressed to ensure Oregon’s government is operating efficiently and fairly. The Oregon Audits Division continues to produce professional work that increases transparency and accountability in state government.”

The full report can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.