Auditor: Portland grants should be competitively awarded – OregonLive.com (blog)
The Portland City Council should end its practice of handing out millions of dollars of grants each year with no competitive process, according to a city audit released Thursday.
Auditor Mary Hull Caballero found that the mayor and city commissioners award money without setting criteria for grants and fail to consistently monitor whether contractual work is performed. The audit found that Portland officials handed out between $9 million and $17 million in each of the past five fiscal years.
Auditors recommended that money should be granted through a competitive process based on specific objectives. They also called for better oversight of grant work, and a plan for reporting back to city leaders.
In response to the audit, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales wrote a letter stating that work has already begun to make improvements.
Grants are often approved from the city’s special appropriations budget. As The Oregonian/OregonLive reported last year, city leaders spent more than $200 million on special appropriations over two decades as Portland’s roads crumbled into disrepair.
— Brad Schmidt