2017 ORS 297.765¹
Policies and procedures for local government waste hotline
  • confidentiality
  • required reporting

(1) If a local government body or local service district chooses to establish a local government waste hotline under ORS 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline), the local government body or local service district shall establish written policies and procedures for logging all reports of waste, inefficiency or abuse received through the hotline or received through any other method.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (5) or (6) of this section, the identity of any person calling the hotline or otherwise making a report under ORS 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline) is confidential. A person making a report under ORS 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline) may waive the confidentiality otherwise granted under this subsection.

(3) The local government body or local service district shall conduct an initial investigation of each report of waste, inefficiency or abuse made under ORS 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline), following the written policies and procedures established under subsection (1) of this section. The local government body or local service district may audit any agency of the local government body or local service district if it appears that officers or employees of the agency, or persons under contract with the agency, are engaging in activities that constitute waste, inefficiency or abuse.

(4) An investigation of a report of waste, inefficiency or abuse received under ORS 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline) is confidential unless the local government body or local service district finds that waste, inefficiency or abuse has occurred and reports these determinations as provided under subsection (5) or (6) of this section. If the local government body or local service district finds that waste, inefficiency or abuse has occurred, the investigation and any determinations made are confidential until the investigation described in subsection (3) of this section is complete.

(5) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (4) of this section:

(a) If the local government body or local service district determines during the investigation that a violation of any provision of ORS chapter 244 may be occurring or may have occurred, the local government body or local service district shall notify the Oregon Government Ethics Commission of the potential violation; and

(b) If the local government body or local service district determines during the investigation that fraud or other criminal activity may be occurring or may have occurred, the local government body or local service district shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of the potential fraud or other criminal activity.

(6) Subject to the confidentiality requirements of subsections (2) and (4) of this section, upon completion of an investigation under this section:

(a) The local government body or local service district shall determine in writing whether officers or employees of the local government body or local service district, or persons under contract with the local government body or local service district, are engaging in activities that constitute waste, inefficiency or abuse. The written determination may include other information about the nature of the investigation or the local government body’s or local service district’s determination.

(b) If the local government body or local service district finds that waste, inefficiency or abuse has occurred, upon request of the person who made the report under ORS 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline), the local government body or local service district shall provide the person with a copy of the determination and any other information included by the local government body or local service district.

(c) If the local government body or local service district determines that officers or employees of the local government body or local service district, or persons under contract with the local government body or local service district, are involved in activities that constitute waste, inefficiency or abuse, the local government body or local service district shall notify the governing body of the local government body or local service district of the determination and deliver a copy of the local government body’s or local service district’s findings to the governing body.

(7) A written determination prepared under this section is a public record. Following the completion of an investigation, all documents, information or other records relating to the investigation are disclosable public records under ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department) unless an exemption from disclosure set forth in a provision of law other than this section applies to the records, except that the identity of the person making the report under ORS 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline) shall remain confidential. [2011 c.221 §3]

Note: See note under 297.760 (Establishment of local government waste hotline).

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.