Sen. Jackie Winters’ bill to increase board transparency, accountability is approved

Sen. Jackie Winters

Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem)

Salem, OR – The State Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 617, a bill that will establish a third-party panel to review complaints filed against appraisers. Concerns have been raised that the Appraisal Certification and Licensure Board has not maintained a fair enforcement of its rules.

“Sometimes a board loses sight of its mission and boundaries,” said Winters. “The legislature is responsible for holding Oregon boards and commissions to the highest standards of accountability and transparency. This bill provides some important new measures of transparency and accountability for the ACLB.”

Boards are designed for the purposes of creating a level playing field for its practitioners and to equitably enforce its rules when its membership steps out of bounds. When a board doesn’t hold to this purpose, the legislature must intervene. The Appraisal Licensure and Certification Board is a semi-independent board whose operations have continued to raise concerns.

SB 617 sets up a probable cause hearing panel that would review complaints filed against appraisers. Based off of a successful model used in other states, this panel has proven to save both the state and practitioners money by eliminating frivolous cases before expensive lawyers and experts are needed.

Under this proposal, when a complaint is filed, there would still be a preliminary investigation by ACLB staff. The staff would then present their findings to the probable cause panel and the panel would make a decision on the merits of the case.