Performance auditors frequently do a very good job at holding agencies in their states, cities and counties accountable, by doing careful analysis and frequently making recommendations.
But how many of those recommendations are actually implemented, and how many wind up as nothing more than well-intentioned suggestions (rather like the New Year's resolutions people make to lose 30 pounds in the next year)?
Many entities do reviews of recommendations and the city of Portland, Oregon has just done a notable job of comparing how agencies responded to recommendations made by City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero through 2021. We want to congratulate the auditor's office for doing this review -- and making it totally transparent by sending it out to people like us!
According to a release that accompanies the report, "Recommendations from a 2018 audit of Parks and Recreation’s scholarships have yet to be implemented, and the Police Bureau is still working on half of the 10 recommendations we made to improve overtime management in 2019."
There was good news as well. For example the report's summary points to "Human Resources and Technology Services [which] topped the list of percentage of recommendations implemented with 86 and 67 percent."
“Carrying out audit recommendations is essential for improving how Portland works,” Hull Caballero said in the release. “Portlanders are best served when managers implement our recommendations to make their programs and operations more efficient, effective, and equitable."
Here are the actual results, as shown in the auditor's follow up of audit status report, which can be found at: https://www.portland.gov/audit-services/annual-follow-status-reports#toc-summary