As chief auditor of public accounts, the secretary of state set a clear mission for the division: Protect the public interest while helping improve Oregon government.
Auditors ensure that public funds are spent as legally required, used to their best advantage and properly accounted for. Audits are conducted in compliance with stringent professional standards and use modern analytical tools to examine millions of records and be as meticulous as possible. All reports are publicly available.
Financial audits are a core focus. The division, meanwhile, has pushed performance audits to new levels. The aim is to increase the efficiency of state and local government while generating savings, with the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development audit of 2012 being a case in point.
Business Services Division
Centralizing services for a government agency not only is efficient, it saves money. And that’s where the Business Services Division excels.
Responsibilities include fiscal planning and financial statement reporting, preparation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, technical assistance in budget preparation, budget monitoring, disbursement of funds, cash management and debt administration.
As the buyer for the Secretary of State, Business Services leverages the purchasing power of state government for the cost-effective and accountable acquisition of goods and services, while ensuring the agency’s business runs efficiently.
The Corporation Division is where you go to start a business, become a notary or file a lien on personal property. The division provides information to support business, and ensures that registration processes are fast, simple and easy as possible. As the first stop for business, it provides information to help you know government requirements for starting and operating a business or hiring employees. The division also offers many online services, such as the Central Business Registry for rapid business registration, Business Search to know with whom you are doing business, and Uniform Commercial Code search and electronic filing, all online for 24/7 access.
It was the vision of the Secretary of State to create a one-stop shop for new local businesses. That goal was achieved in 2012 by the creation of Business Xpress. Using this online business portal, entrepreneurs can access information, forms and other important documents needed to keep Oregonians in business. Business Xpress has since won numerous honors, including the 2013 Digital Government Achievement Award in the Government-to-Business category.
The Corporation Division also authenticates documents for business or study abroad and helps people to become a notary public.
Voting is central to democracy. The division oversees state elections, ensuring that voting reflects the will of the citizenry. It’s also in charge of the initiative, referendum and referral process.
By interpreting and applying election laws, the division helps uphold the democratic process. By logging data on past elections, it serves as chronicler and statistician.
Modernizing the election process and streamlining voter registration are priorities of the Secretary of State. The Elections Division has led the way with vote by mail and in moving registration online. It is also a leader in bringing transparency to compaign funding through the development of the ORESTAR online application, which provides transparency for all money raised and spent during political campaigns.
Human Resources Division
First and foremost, the division serves the Secretary’s most valued asset: The employees. Recruiting talented team members is Human Resources’ other core function.
The team interprets state and federal employment laws and, with the addition of the agency’s own policies and procedures, guides their application. New employee orientation, training, performance management and personalized career development are top priorities.
The Oregon Secretary of State encourages collaboration to build an effective organization. “HR,” as the office is commonly called, supports that approach. First by developing a talented and diverse staff, then by ensuring that employees at all levels are challenged, appreciated and engaged.
Information Systems Division
The division powers the agency by providing information technology design and infrastructure and software development, testing and maintenance. Project management services help ensure strategic initiatives stay on target and launch successfully. Responsive IT customer service is another hallmark.
The spirit of innovation is strong in ISD, as exemplified by the Secretary of State’s streamlined website and customer service-oriented online applications.
State Archives Division
The magnificent Cecil L. Edwards Archives Building houses Oregon’s permanently valuable government records. Among them: Documents from the provisional and territorial governments – some of the oldest records remaining – and the crown jewel, the Oregon Constitution.
Besides shepherding public access to these important pieces of Oregon history, the Archives Division, known to many as the Oregon State Archives, publishes the Oregon Administrative Rules and produces the Blue Book, the state directory and almanac.
Staffers lend records management assistance to state agencies and run the State Records Center, which provides inexpensive storage for inactive records.
The cliché image of musty bankers boxes and dusty stacks doesn’t apply to the Oregon State Archives. The division is a technology leader, being the first state archives with a website way back in 1994 and, more recently, pioneering a "cloud" app called the Oregon Records Management Solution.