Audits of Public Funds and Financial Records

ORS 297.070
Performance audits

  • subpoenas
  • contracts with private auditors
  • rules
  • audit expenses
  • audit reports
  • responses to audits


Performance audits of all state departments, boards, commissions, institutions and state-aided institutions and agencies conducted by the Division of Audits shall be based on standards for audit services established by nationally recognized entities including, but not limited to, the United States Government Accountability Office.


The Secretary of State may subpoena witnesses, may require the production of books and papers and rendering of reports in the manner and form that the Secretary of State requires and may do all things necessary to secure a full and thorough audit. If a person fails to comply with any subpoena issued under this subsection, a judge of the circuit court of any county, on application of the Secretary of State, shall compel obedience by proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from the circuit court.


The Secretary of State, as State Auditor, may contract with qualified private sector auditors to conduct audits if the Secretary of State determines that it is in the public interest to do so. All contracts for conducting performance audits under this section shall be in a form prescribed or approved by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall employ or contract with auditors upon terms and for compensation as the Secretary of State determines are advantageous and advisable.


An audit conducted under contract as provided in subsection (3) of this section shall be considered to be conducted by the Division of Audits for purposes of ORS 297.020 (Functions and duties of Division of Audits), 297.050 (Supply of audit reports to Joint Legislative Audit Committee and Legislative Fiscal Officer) and 297.535 (Division of Audits Account).


The Secretary of State may enter into an agreement with the department, board, commission, institution, state-aided institution or agency that is the subject of a performance audit for payment of the expenses incurred by the Secretary of State in conducting the audit.


An audit report that includes information on leading practices must:


Provide information on whether it is reasonable to believe that adoption of such practices will require resources beyond currently legislatively approved resource levels, and, if so, the potential magnitude of additional resources needed; and


Identify states or comparable government entities that have implemented identified leading practices.


An audit report must indicate whether:


Issues identified in the report are already under consideration by the audited entity; and


Recommendations identified in the report are already in the process of being implemented.


The Division of Audits shall publish all performance audit reports and shall notify the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Fiscal Officer when such audits are publicly available.


An audited entity shall submit written reports to the Division of Audits and the Legislative Fiscal Officer regarding the findings and recommendations of an audit of the entity. The reports must include specific responses to each recommendation, including whether the entity can implement the recommendation without legislative action and anticipated timeframes for implementation of recommendations not requiring legislative action. The reports required under this subsection must be made in a timely manner, as determined by the Division of Audits and the Legislative Fiscal Officer.


After receiving a report under subsection (9) of this section, both the Division of Audits and the Legislative Fiscal Officer may conduct an audit follow-up review and may submit a written report regarding the audit follow-up review to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. The Division of Audits and the Legislative Fiscal Officer shall notify one another about the intent to conduct an audit follow-up review prior to initiation of the review.


As used in this section:


“Audit follow-up review” has the meaning given that term in ORS 171.585 (Duties of committee).


“Performance audit” means an audit, the objectives of which include:


Assessing the extent to which legislative, regulatory and organizational goals and objectives are being achieved and the current status or condition of program operations or progress in implementing legislative requirements within the legislatively approved budget;


Assessing the ability of alternative approaches to yield improved performance or eliminate factors that inhibit effectiveness;


Determining whether a program produced documented intended results, including key performance measures, and whether such measures are reliable, valid and relevant;


Determining whether a program operates within the context of statutory parameters, is accessible to eligible individuals, duplicates, overlaps, or conflicts with other programs, utilizes sound financial practices and information and is efficient and effective in achieving intended results within the legislatively approved budget;


Determining whether the purpose of a program, the manner in which it is conducted, services delivered, outcomes, the population served, incurred or proposed costs, and revenue received are in compliance with provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, grant agreements or other relevant requirements; and


Addressing identified risks and weaknesses. [1997 c.847 §4; 2008 c.7 §8; 2009 c.11 §39; 2017 c.532 §7; 2019 c.567 §7]


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023