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Multnomah Co Auditor

Qualifications: Candidate must be US Citizen and registered voter; resident for one year prior to election. Term: 4 yearsDuties: The Auditor works to promote open and accountable government by providing independent and impartial reviews, access to public information, and service for government and the public.

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    Scott Learn
    (N)

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    Jennifer McGuirk
    (N)

Biographical Information

When designing an audit of a program, how would you decide on the scope of the audit and what aspects of the program to focus on?

What would you do if your audit recommendations are not implemented?

How would you determine when your investigation is sufficient to report audit findings and recommendations?

YouTube Video
Town Where You Live Portland
Your Experience/Qualificatons I’ve held institutions accountable for 30 years, outside and inside government. As a financial auditor, I audited major companies when I was a CPA. As a 17-year Oregonian reporter, I covered beats from East County schools to the environment to Portland City Hall. In 5 years with state government, I’ve worked on audits that helped improve alternative schools, collect millions owed the state, strengthen family assistance, and begin repairing our broken foster care system. Two won national awards.
County Multnomah
Term 4 years
Term Expires 2022
First, I will audit the programs that matter most to our community: mental and physical health care, social services such as affordable housing, and criminal justice, from the DA’s office to jails. In the last 10 years, county audits have focused little on these areas. Within programs, we will focus on ground-level services, costs, and obstacles workers face. My highest priorities will be improving services to vulnerable people, addressing inequities, and examining the highest-cost activities.
I will hold programs accountable for a detailed completion plan for every recommendation, and include their plan in our public audit reports. If management and the elected official in charge resist a recommendation, we will talk with them to understand why, then bring the issue to the county board’s and public’s attention when we disagree. As Auditor, I plan to issue annual public reports that track the status of our recommendations, highlighting any that programs have not implemented.
As auditors, we must use multiple sources of evidence to identify root problems that reduce government effectiveness. That evidence includes research, data analysis, our own field observations, and many interviews, from management to on-the-ground workers, clients, and outside experts and advocates. My in-depth auditing and journalism experience helps me gauge if the evidence is deep enough and persuasive enough to recommend changes to address root problems. If not, we go back for more.
YouTube Video
Town Where You Live Portland
Your Experience/Qualificatons As a Multnomah County staff auditor since 2012, I’ve co-created audits on topics ranging from planning for the new central courthouse to ethics. I’m on the Association of Local Government Auditors’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee and am a past member of the Portland Auditor’s Citizen Budget Advisory Committee. Before auditing, I worked in public involvement and was a grants writer and manager who stewarded appropriate use of public funds. I have a BA from the UofO and an MPA from PSU.
Twitter @jen_mcguirk
County Multnomah
Term 4 years
Term Expires 2022
The County's mission is to help people. That's why I think choosing what to audit shouldn't just prioritize programs with the largest budgets, but should also prioritize programs that directly impact people's health and safety. The scope of each audit I design will prioritize these concerns to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively to produce positive outcomes for people receiving county safety-net services.
I’ll have a robust follow-up audit program to ensure recommendations get addressed. Follow-up audits sustain the pressure that can be necessary to make positive change. Community pressure is vital too. I’ll work with news media, use social media, host town halls, and present to community groups to ensure residents know about my office’s work and where recommendations haven’t been implemented. With our diverse communities, I’ll maintain the momentum needed to get recommendations implemented.
I’ll lead a team dedicated to following the facts, and to meeting government auditing standards for gathering reliable, relevant evidence from interviews, observations, research, and data. We know evidence is sufficient when the diverse pieces form a clear picture that answers our objective, identifies root causes, and supports recommendations to improve government. All audits go through a rigorous quality control process to ensure evidence is sufficient. After this, we can report to the public.