Trust, these days

I wonder how we arrived at this perplexing state so quickly. It wasn’t long ago that I lamented the declining number of journalists who were holding governments accountable. Now those remaining journalists are finding their news reports and facts being challenged. Similarly, the conclusions of the scientific community are being questioned by nonscientific skeptics. The… Continue reading Trust, these days

The Ombudsman: Another approach to accountability

Auditing isn’t the only accountability tool. The mission, framework and methods of performance auditing have parallels in other accountability mechanisms and problem-solving strategies. As the elected Portland Auditor, I had greater freedom to explore accountability strategies to accomplish the mission of my office. In addition to the ten staff conducting performance audits, there were fifty-four… Continue reading The Ombudsman: Another approach to accountability

Audit Story: University Management

I had heard the stories from other state auditors about the resistance of universities to their recommendations. They’re fittingly called “ivory towers” and they aren’t conciliatory. Nonetheless, in Oregon they depend upon a large-but-declining supplement from the state budget to operate and maintain their often-claimed standing among the top universities in the country. I had… Continue reading Audit Story: University Management

Feds are from Venus, States are from Mars, Locals are from…Earth

I have always harbored this comic book image of federal, state, and local auditors banding together to fight against mismanagement and entropy, like  DC Comics’ League of Justice  or Marvel’s Avengers. After all these years, despite watching a few of those fantasy movies, that performance audit scenario has faded. We may all follow the same… Continue reading Feds are from Venus, States are from Mars, Locals are from…Earth

“Oh, why do audits take so long?” everyone laments.

I’ve said the same thing many times over the years, yet I cringe when I hear someone say that audits shouldn’t have birthdays. Big findings take time, and arbitrary limits will exclude audit topics with major benefits for the public. Nature agrees: Complex or big creatures require longer gestations, up to seventeen months for some… Continue reading “Oh, why do audits take so long?” everyone laments.

Seeking Sustainability

State law required an audit of an agency with the mission of restoring Oregon’s watersheds and salmon. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) had been spending a share of lottery funds for over a decade toward its mission when we took on an audit of their program. The restoration mission in Oregon is daunting but… Continue reading Seeking Sustainability

Verified by MonsterInsights