A Fraud Hotline investigation found evidence of waste in response to a tip about spending in the Park Ranger Program.
The investigation found that Park Ranger staff spent $6,605 on food purchases that did not follow procurement card policy. A manager also used City funds to purchase a hat for $113 that was not a part of the ranger uniform. We referred the findings and recommendations to the Parks Bureau.
The Bureau initiated an investigation of the employees’ conduct. It also increased purchasing oversight, monitoring, and training. It did not agree to implement all aspects of the recommendations and did not make any procedural changes after the report was released
Two recommendations partially implemented
- We recommended Parks investigate the issues identified in our investigation, including but not limited to whether there were additional procurement card violations.
The Bureau of Human Resources investigated the non-compliant spending by the employees in the report. Parks did no further investigation to determine whether other employees made non-compliant purchases with their City credit cards.
- We recommended the Bureau implement better procurement card oversight, training, and monitoring.
Parks had identified in-town food purchases as an area for additional review before the 2020 tip to the Fraud Hotline. In November of 2018, Parks adopted new procedures for procurement card spending that reflect the Citywide procurement card policy. The Bureau told us they periodically remind supervisors and managers about Citywide non-travel food rules and require employees to submit proof of preapproval and supporting documentation.
However, the Bureau has not singled out food purchases in a quarterly report to the Parks Director or provided regular refresher training for procurement card holders.
About the Fraud Hotline
The City Auditor’s Office administers the Fraud Hotline so people can confidentially and anonymously report suspected fraud, waste, and abuse of position regarding the City government. You can reach the Hotline online at www.PortlandFraudHotline.com or by phone at 866-342-4148.
Report Team: Martha Prinz, Performance Auditor II