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Portland emergency management bureau gets clean audit

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management has implemented all the recommendations made by City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade in a 2010 audit, according to a follow-up report issued Monday.

The 2010 audit made seven key recommendations to address problems with the bureau’s coordination of emergency management functions among other city bureaus.

“We found that the (bureau) has implemented all audit recommendations,” the new audit concludes.

Three years ago, auditors found the city’s basic emergency operations plan was “outdated and incomplete.” There were multiple committees, but their authority and purpose was “unclear.” Training was infrequent for emergency managers. The bureau’s efforts to educate the public were “disjointed and lacked a consistent message and audience.”

Efforts to communicate with the public failed to properly account for people without Internet access.

Bureau Director Carmen Merlo, in a response to the audit co-signed by Steve Novick, the city commissioner newly in charge of the bureau, thanked auditors for their work. “Our staff and the residents we serve have benefited greatly from your office’s scrutiny, analysis and thoughtful recommendations,” Merlo and Novick stated.