Digging in the dirt
The City of Portland ombudsman's annual report is here, and it's got some interesting episodes in it. No names, unfortunately, but it appears that some of the city's bureaucrats have been found to be up to no good, particularly in Admiral Randy's bureaus:
After Procurement Services denied his bid protest, a small business owner filed a complaint. The business owner’s protest had raised concerns about the City’s evaluation of vendors’ proposals and specifically questioned a Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) employee’s scoring of the proposals.
The Ombudsman conducted an investigation and found the PBOT employee’s scoring of the proposals to be unsupportable. After several communications, Procurement opted to re-do the evaluation of the proposals with a different evaluation committee. In 2013, the Ombudsman will continue to press for more thorough records of decision making, which, in turn, provide the basis for meaningful review in response to bid protests....
In response to a campaign advertisement during the 2012 primary season, the Ombudsman initiated an investigation into whether certain Fire & Rescue Bureau employees violated any restrictions pertaining to public employee political activity. Two residents reported similar concerns to the Auditor’s Office during the general election season.
In the course of conducting the investigation, the Ombudsman observed a lack of clarity and consistency among the various political activity restrictions that may apply to City employees. In 2013, the Ombudsman will propose amending Human Resources Administrative Rule 4.06 to track the more stringent Federal Hatch Act political activity restrictions. Corresponding changes to the Fire & Rescue Bureau’s internal rules are expected to follow.
The Ombudsman also worked with the Auditor’s Elections Officer to distribute a City-wide memorandum in advance of the 2012 general election, which reminded employees of political activity restrictions and reporting obligations for suspected violations....
A resident made an anonymous report alleging that the Procurement Services’ Sheltered Market Program paid a former City contractor thousands of dollars for consulting services it never rendered.
The Ombudsman investigated. Finding support for the allegations, the Ombudsman referred the matter to law enforcement for possible prosecution. The former City contractor later admitted to the theft and entered into an agreement with the City to repay approximately $17,000. In 2013, the Ombudsman expects to make recommendations about establishing internal controls that will prevent and detect similar incidents....
A City employee anonymously reported concerns about a Portland Water Bureau (PWB) employee’s outside business subcontracting with the City on a PWB project.
The Ombudsman initiated an investigation; however the employee under investigation resigned before the investigation was completed. Going forward, the Ombudsman will work with Procurement Services and the City Attorney’s Office to amend City Code 5.33.070 to expressly prohibit the City from subcontracting with a City employee, or any business with which a City employee is associated.
It's a tame document, but hey, it's better than nothing.