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ROLE 5: Assist Elected Officials or Citizens

Practice 5c. Assist external decision making: Assist external stakeholders in using performance information to make decisions.

Portland, Oregon, City Auditor [Profile]

The City Auditor provides two “benchmarks staff” to support for the Portland-Multnomah Progress Board, a “blue ribbon” citizen panel, formed in 1993, and co-chaired by the Mayor of Portland and the Chair of the Board of Multnomah County Commissioners.  These two staff split their time between the Progress Board and Audit Services.  Their time with Audit Services is spent working on the annual resident and business surveys, which are conducted in accordance with auditing standards.  Not all projects for the Progress Board are considered audits.

The Portland-Multnomah Progress Board identifies, monitors, and reports on indicators (called “benchmarks”) for important community-wide goals. The Board identifies major trends in the community and acts as a catalyst for government, business, and community groups to improve the performance of the benchmarks, which generally represent broader community and regional outcomes than do the City’s SEA Reports (seePractice 5b. Report performance).  Long-term data trends (some back to 1990) and updates are available on the Progress Board website.  Benchmarks staff prepare summary reviews of key benchmarks that the Progress Board wants to call public attention to.  In some years, Benchmarks staff have also conducted in-depth studies of particular benchmarks or policy issues, published as “special reports” and “benchmark audits.”

More detailed information on the work of the auditor’s benchmarks staff, including data sources for benchmarks, data update frequencies, and subjects of early special reports [Example in 2004 Guide-PDF]


Reports and Data:

The Progress Board’s web pages can be accessed from the City Auditor’s website including the following links: