FIN-2.02 - Comprehensive Financial Management Policies Overview

Binding City Policies (BCP)
Policy number


Binding City Policy



The City of Portland is accountable to the community for the use of public dollars. Municipal resources must be used wisely to ensure adequate funding for the services, public facilities, and infrastructure necessary to meet the community’s present and future needs. Financial management policies serve as the blueprint to achieve the fiscal stability required to meet the City’s goals and objectives.

City Goals and Objectives

The City’s goals and objectives provide the foundation for the City’s financial management policies. These policies will be developed, implemented, and maintained to enable management to ensure that the City is financially able to meet its immediate and long-term service objectives.

In addition, the City as an institution has multiple partners, including community members, taxpayers, businesses, employees, and other government agencies. As a major institutional, economic, and service force in the region, it is important that the City promotes strong relationships with its partners by adopting clear and comprehensive financial policies.

Financial Policy Objectives

The objectives for comprehensive financial management policies are to:

•  Guide City Council and City management policy decisions that have significant fiscal impact.

•  Support planning for long-term needs and organizational sustainability.

•  Maintain financial stability and sufficient financial capacity for present and future needs.

•  Maintain and protect City assets and infrastructure.

•  Develop, communicate, and implement appropriate internal controls to ensure accountability and minimize risk.

•  Ensure the legal use of financial resources through an effective system of internal controls.

•  Set forth operating principles that minimize the financial risk in providing City services.

•  Optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of services to reduce costs and improve service quality.

•  Employ balanced and fair revenue policies that provide adequate funding for desired programs.

•  Promote sound financial management by providing accurate and timely information on the City’s financial condition.

•  Maintain and enhance the City’s credit ratings and prevent default on any municipal financial obligations.

•  Promote cooperation and coordination within the City, with other governments, with the community, and with the private sector in the financing and delivery of services.

Affiliated Agencies

A number of agencies have been created through City Charter, Council action, intergovernmental agreements, and state and federal laws. These agencies are affiliated with the City and should be managed with the same financial standards as City bureaus. To protect the City’s fiscal status and avoid an adverse effect on the City, affiliated agencies will be accountable for financial compliance and reporting standards as described in the City’s financial management policies. The City may audit financial records or performance data to ensure funds are spent in accordance with Council directions and policies. Affiliated agencies include, but are not limited to, agencies created by City Charter or Council action, agencies with leadership appointed by the City Council, entities identified as component units of the City, and agencies that receive a majority of funds from the City.

Related Financial Policies

The City has adopted other financial policies that guide City operations. These binding City policies are included in the Portland Policy Documents.


The Chief Financial Officer and the City Budget Director shall be responsible for administering these policies. The City Budget Director, the Chief Financial Officer, and individual division managers within the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services shall develop and implement guidelines and procedures consistent with these policies.

The Chief Financial Officer and the City Budget Director shall be responsible for reviewing and updating these policies, related procedures, and definitions no less than every four years. More frequent review and update of individual financial policies shall occur as specified in the individual policies or on an as-needed basis. The goal of the review and update process is to ensure the City’s compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and to implement best practices in the financial disciplines.

City bureau directors and budget managers shall ensure that their organizations comply with these policies and procedures, and shall issue bureau-specific procedures, as needed, that are consistent with these policies. Bureau-specific policies may be more restrictive than the related Citywide policies, but may not be less restrictive.

City Council, City bureau directors and budget managers may request clarification to the CFMP policies and procedures, and/or request new or revised CFMP policies and procedures. The CBO and OMF shall consider such requests and provide a response to the requesting bureau in a timely manner.


Resolution No. 35005, adopted by City Council June 17, 1992.

Replaced by Ordinance No. 181829, passed by City Council May 14, 2008 and effective July 1, 2008.

Amended by Resolution No. 37086, adopted by City Council August 6, 2014.

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