Local Government Official's Responsibilities

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Governments instill trust in their constituents through well-organized, honest, respectful, and transparent operations. There are many resources available to help you achieve these goals. ​​ ​​

A public official is someone who works for the State of Oregon or any of its political subdivisions, such as a county, city, school district, or special district. This person can be elected or chosen to work for the government. They can also be paid or not paid for their work. This information comes from ​ ORS 244.020(15)​ 

Elected and appointed officials are trustees of the local government and have a responsibility to ensure compliance with certain laws, rules, and grant or loan covenants. The following are some resources available to Local Government Officials. This is not an exhaustive list. There may ​be other membership organizations with additional resources,​ and/or requirements specific to your district.​

​​​​​​Oregon law requires local governments to file annual financial audit reports and other items within 180 days of fiscal year end with the Secretary of State Audits Division (Oregon Revised Statute 297.405 - 297.990). 

The local government may qualify to file a different type of report depending on the local government's annual expenditures, fidelity bond coverage, and other factors. Governing officials are responsible for making sure they are aware of the filing types, requirements and deadlines. ​See the FAQs for what type of report is required​ and to answer other questions.​

​​​​​​Elected and appointed officials, employees, and volunteers at all levels of local governments have an obligation to conduct business in an ethical manner and make decisions that are in the best interest of their constituents. A key factor for board members successfully building the public's confidence and trust is by demonstrating the ability to recognize potential ethics problems and removing oneself from that situation.​

The Oregon Ethics Commission is charged with regulating the activities of public officials in three primary areas: financial disclosure, prohibition against the use of office for financial gain, and conflicts of interest. Oregon Ethics Commission resources take precedence over our summary of common​ ethics considerations​.​​

​​​​​A public meeting occurs when a quorum of the governing body is convened for the purpose of deciding or deliberating a public issue. Without a quorum of the governing body public meeting laws do not apply. If a quorum of the governing body meets, the meeting must follow public records and ​meeting laws​.

Local Budget Law​ is overseen by the Oregon Department of Revenue. Their office can be reached at 503-945-8293 or finance.taxation​@dor.oregon.gov.​

​​​​​​​​​Procurement refers to the act of purchasing, leasing, renting, or otherwise acquiring supplies, services, or capital assets. Procurement also includes each of the procedures performed or required to enter into and/or administer a public contract. 

The Oregon procurement manual can be helpful to understanding procurement rules. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS 279​) governs contracting and procurement. Oregon Department of Justice Model Rules further clarify procurement and contracting responsibilities. These resources take precedence over our summary of common ​procurement basics​.

​Public fund deposits that exceed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) limits, must be held in a qualified depository that participates in the Oregon Public Funds Collateralization Program (PFCP). 

​​All municipalities that meet the qualifications and choose to file either a report in lieu of audit or review report are required to carry fidelity bond coverage. (ORS 297.435)

  • Report in lieu of audit filers
    • ​Coverage must equal the amount of revenues received
    • ​The principal responsible official must be covered by a fidelity or faithful performance bond
  • Review Report Filers
    • ​Coverage must be equal to 10% of revenues or no less than $10,000
    • ​The principal responsible official must be covered by a fidelity or faithful performance bond

​​​The State of Oregon has many boards, commissions, and small entities. The Governor’s office provides an online training​ to assist new governing body members acclimate to their responsibilities. While some of the training is state-level specific, it offers many valuable considerations.​​


New in 2024

HB2110 Summary Changes​

New Government Official Resources
Help for new government officials in keeping compliant with your responsibilities as a public official. ​​

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We can be reached at MunicipalFilings.sos@sos.oregon.gov​
or 503-986-2255.