2017 ORS 297.210¹
Audits of accounts of state agencies and state-aided institutions and agencies
  • performance audits of school and education service districts
  • audits of state-to-county fund transfers
  • subpoena
  • audits on retirement of certain personnel
  • reporting of criminal activity
  • rules

(1)(a) The Secretary of State, as State Auditor, shall have the accounts and financial affairs of state departments, boards, commissions, institutions and state-aided institutions and agencies of the state reviewed or audited as the Secretary of State considers advisable or necessary.

(b) The Secretary of State, as State Auditor, may conduct performance audits of school districts and education service districts. For audits conducted under this paragraph:

(A) The Secretary of State shall identify by rule factors and standards by which the secretary will determine whether to initiate an audit as authorized under this paragraph or to enter into a contract with the Department of Education to conduct an audit as provided by ORS 327.141 (Financial or performance audit initiated by department).

(B) Prior to initiating an audit, the Secretary of State shall:

(i) Give notice to the school district or the education service district of the secretary’s intent to initiate the audit; and

(ii) Provide the school district or the education service district with the opportunity to provide to the secretary any information related to the subject of the audit.

(C) Following the review of any information provided under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the Secretary of State may:

(i) Decline to proceed with the audit; or

(ii) Cause the audit to be conducted.

(D) The Secretary of State may charge a school district or an education service district for a portion of the costs incurred for an audit authorized by this paragraph. Amounts charged as provided by this subparagraph shall be in lieu of any amounts that may be charged as provided by ORS 297.230 (Estimate and payment of costs and expenses of audits).

(c) The Secretary of State, as State Auditor, may conduct audits of the use of fund transfers from the state to counties, including but not limited to transfers of video lottery revenues, state highway funds, cigarette tax revenues and Oregon Liquor Control Commission funds.

(d) The Secretary of State may subpoena witnesses, require the production of books and papers and rendering of reports in such manner and form as the Secretary of State requires and may do all things necessary to secure a full and thorough investigation.

(e) The Secretary of State shall report, in writing, to the Governor. The report shall include a copy of the report on each audit.

(f) In addition to the report described in paragraph (e) of this subsection, the Secretary of State shall provide a report to a school district board or the board of directors of an education service district following an audit conducted as provided by paragraph (b) of this subsection.

(2) The Secretary of State may audit or review any institution or department of the state government at any time the executive head of the institution or department, for any reason, retires from the head’s office or position. The secretary need not conduct an audit or review under this subsection if:

(a) The institution or department has been the subject of an audit or review of financial controls within the six months immediately preceding the retirement of the executive head of the institution or department; or

(b) The secretary has not received a report within the 12 months immediately preceding the retirement of the executive head of the institution or department indicating that the executive head of the institution or department was unable or unwilling to follow state law, rules, policies or procedures.

(3) The Secretary of State shall employ auditors upon such terms and for such compensation as the Secretary of State determines are advantageous and advisable.

(4) If a person fails to comply with any subpoena issued under subsection (1) of this section, 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.

(5) If the Secretary of State determines during the conduct of any activity authorized under this chapter that fraud or other criminal activity may be occurring or may have occurred, the secretary shall notify the appropriate federal, state or local law enforcement agency of the potential fraud or other criminal activity. This subsection applies regardless of the source of any moneys that are involved or may be involved in the fraud or other criminal activity. [Amended by 1969 c.135 §1; 1971 c.748 §3; 1983 c.154 §1; 1987 c.143 §3; 1993 c.718 §4; 1997 c.157 §1; 2007 c.218 §3; 2007 c.839 §14; 2011 c.153 §1; 2011 c.647 §2; 2012 c.91 §1; 2015 c.66 §1]

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of Secretary of State to audit Councils of Govern­ments, (1974) Vol 37, p 249; audits by Secretary of State of Oregon Parks Founda­tion, (1978) Vol 38, p 2105; county fair associa­tion as “state aided institu­tion,” (1979) Vol 39, p 505; Secretary of State auditing state po­lit­i­cal parties’ “dollar check-off” funds, (1979) Vol 40, p 101; Oregon Trade and Marketing Center, Inc. as subject to Municipal Audit Law or state audit law, (1988) Vol 46, p 97; authority of Secretary of State to require state agencies to prepare financial reports in form determined necessary, (1992) Vol 46, p 464; responsibility of school districts for cost of audits con­ducted by Secretary of State, (1995) Vol 47, p 224

Chapter 297

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Duty or authority of Secretary of State to con­duct performance audits, (1985) Vol. 44, p 381

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 297—Audits of Public Funds and Financial Records, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors297.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 297, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano297.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.