Gov. Kate Brown has appointed a financial oversight team and will hire an independent contractor to address a cash flow crisis caused by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s failure to promptly bill and collect money it is owed for wildfire costs.
The 13-member team, chaired by the governor’s chief of staff, is tasked with identifying the structural changes needed to expedite and standardize how the agency processes financial transactions related to wildfires. It will also evaluate new ways for the agency to manage its seasonal borrowing needs.
The cash flow problems, reported in an Oct. 6 story in The Oregonian/OregonLive, come as the agency is facing structural financial problems in its state forest program, and a $1.4 billion breach of contract by 14 counties that begins Thursday.