June 27, 2012
Secretary of State Makes Recommendations to Better Manage Oregonís 250+ Boards and Commissions
SALEM – A state audit released today found Oregon lacks a clear and comprehensive structure for creating and managing its boards and commissions (boards). The report highlights some common risk factors faced by many boards and identifies opportunities to improve the governance and operations of boards to promote accountability and transparency.
“Boards play an important role in Oregon’s government,” says Secretary of State Kate Brown. “However, it is not always clear how these boards and their members are to be held accountable for fulfilling their missions and using state resources.”
Currently there are over 250 boards and most of the board members are appointed by the Governor. Accountability for the performance of those members and the boards they participate on can be improved and common risks can be addressed through clear management structures and appropriate training and oversight.
It is important for board members to understand their role in creating and upholding the agency’s system of internal controls. Without adequate controls and board oversight there is greater risk of theft, misappropriation, noncompliance and underperformance problems.
“I urge the Governor and the Legislature to closely review the recommendations and work together to better manage the activities and outcomes of all Oregon’s boards and commissions,” said Kate Brown. “These public entities can provide an important service to government, but must be properly managed.”
Auditors recommended the Governor expand training of board members, specifically in the areas of state rules and internal controls; improve oversight of and by board members, including handling complaints; and consider other states’ strategies and past efforts in Oregon to manage the creation and elimination of boards.
The report can be found at www.sos.state.or.us/audits.
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