Vendor Payment Checkbook Questions

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Why was Vendor Payment Checkbook created?

Vendor Payment Checkbook was launched with the intention of enhancing the City’s financial transparency. Municipal governments across the country are striving to become more transparent, and the Vendor Payment Checkbook is a way Portland is increasing accessibility to searchable financial information.

What payment information is available? 

Vendor name, payment date, invoice number, general ledger account number, payment description, payment amount, bureau name, and fund name.

What kind of City payments are not captured in this site?

This tool provides information for the City’s payments for goods, services, and obligations that are NOT payroll, employee reimbursements, third party remittance payments (ex: payroll deductions), petty cash, one-time refunds (ex: tax refund or a fee refund), and procurement card payments. 

What is a vendor?

A vendor is a person or company who conducts business with the City of Portland.

Who do I contact if I have questions about a particular transaction?

If you have questions about a particular entry or the Vendor Payment Checkbook in general, call 311 or 503-823-4000.

Will people be able to access my personal information?

No, personal financial information is NOT included on this site. Information on this site is strictly vendor (business) payments.

Why do some vendors have bureau names as a title? 

There are some categories where confidential (exempt) information is mixed with non-confidential information. When this occurs, details for an entire category may be removed by masking the details. For example, a bureau is listed as the vendor for the vendor name.

Why not provide every payment transaction?

This is a pilot project to demonstrate interest in this type of information, as well as determine the best way to provide this information to the public.  Additional information may be included in the future. It should be noted that some of these categories contain personal or protected information, making those categories more challenging to display.  

How much does it cost to run the Vendor Payment Checkbook site?

The software currently costs $500 per month.

Who manages the system?

The City’s Accounting and Enterprise Business Solution (EBS) divisions manage the data uploads, Vendor Payment Checkbook software, and SAP system that maintains the information found in this tool. Individual bureaus are responsible for business decisions regarding vendors and inputting the information found in the system.

I know one specific piece of information (e.g.: payment date), can I conduct a search?

Yes, there is a search bar located above the payment table and near the top of the webpage. If a particular category is known, type it into the search field and click Search to conduct search.  

Why are some vendors listed consecutively? 

The City had more than one transaction with the vendor during a particular month or fiscal year. Additionally, some vendors perform multiple services for the City of Portland, resulting in more than one transaction. 

How often is the site updated? 

The Vendor Payment Checkbook is updated monthly. The upload will include the prior month’s data. The Notice to Visitors on the system’s homepage indicates when the last update occurred.

Is there any confidential information on the site? 

Details believed to be confidential or exempt from disclosure are removed. The entry is still visible, but the detail will be masked. There are some categories where confidential information is mixed with non-confidential information. In these instances, detail for an entire category may be removed.  For instance, information pertaining to active or pending litigation is protected; however, information regarding vendor payments of closed cases is not protected. Given this, if someone is interested in City Attorney vendor payments, they will need to contact that office directly for assistance. Within the Checkbook database, you will see City Attorney vendor payments listed, but they will have restricted details. If you are interested in finding out more information on a particular line item, contact the listed bureau.  

Does the payment table display pending transactions?

No, the payment table only displays transactions that have been cleared through SAP.

Is the site compatible with all browsers?

Microsoft Internet Explorer is recommended – the site should be compatible with most web browsers. 

Can I view the Vendor Payment Checkbook on my tablet or smartphone?

Yes, the Vendor Payment Checkbook can be viewed on an iPhone or Android tablet or smartphone. When viewed on a smartphone, the payment reports list partial data.  Each payment has to be selected to display the details of that payment.

How secure is the information? Are there any risks by presenting this financial information?

The information is secure. No personal or proprietary information is available on the website. 

What other information does the City provide to the public to support transparency?

Information includes: Budgets, financial reports including the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report), bureau performance dashboards, maps, GIS, and open data are available. The Vendor Payment Checkbook homepage provides links to this information.