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ADM-17.02 - City Advisory Bodies - Strengthen Transparency and Accountability and Enhance Community Service Opportunities

Binding City Policies (BCP)
Policy number


Binding City Policy



WHEREAS, local government works best when community members and government make decisions collaboratively, and robust public engagement is essential to sustaining this partnership; and

WHEREAS, effective public involvement strengthens public trust, better addresses the needs and priorities of the community, and increases the legitimacy and accountability of government actions; and

WHEREAS, opportunities to serve and volunteer should be accessible and meaningful to a broadly representative group of community members; and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland is committed to transparency and accountability, and to effective community involvement in government decisions; and

WHEREAS, the City has over 100 advisory bodies (boards, commissions and committees) that provide valuable guidance to City bureaus and the Council on a wide variety of issues; and

WHEREAS, the City does not have standard policies to ensure effective functioning of advisory bodies, including a comprehensive database of advisory bodies, uniform training for members and staff, and conflict of interest disclosures; and

WHEREAS, the City Council seeks to understand not only the conclusions of the body but also the substance of its deliberations and for that reason encourages the submission of minority reports along with the majority recommendation; and

WHEREAS, Citywide standards advance meaningful public involvement, provide consistency and clarity on the role of advisory bodies, and give community members greater confidence in the value of their service; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Council Resolution No. 37285, adopted May 11, 2017, the City has taken affirmative steps to create protocols and procedures in line with best practices for public involvement; and

WHEREAS, the City Attorney’s Office, in consultation with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Office of Management and Finance, and Office of Equity and Human Rights, coordinated the development of a comprehensive inventory of City advisory bodies and has prepared the following:

  Uniform application, including mandatory conflict of interest disclosure form.

  Training materials for City staff who facilitate advisory bodies.

  Training materials for members of advisory bodies.

  Bylaws template, including recommendations regarding mandatory term limits, staggered terms, and subcommittee participation.

  Options to track the delivery of training.

  Survey to be completed by members at the end of their service.

  Values to guide transparent selection processes.


NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, in coordination with the office of the City Attorney, shall be the lead office in implementing these new policies and procedures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, as part of the FY 2018-19 budget process, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement will request adequate resources to ensure proper and timely implementation of these new policies and procedures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, within one year of passage of this Resolution, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement will report to Council on the implementation of these new policies and procedures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, existing advisory bodies will consult with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to implement best practices for board functioning; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution is binding City policy.


Resolution No. 37328, adopted by City Council November 8, 2017.

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