The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying (OSBEELS) carefully investigates any complaints or information relating to violations of:
Investigators for the OSBEELS Regulation Department are tasked to receive, track, and investigate complaints. Upon completion of an investigation, a case summary and findings are presented to the Law Enforcement Committee (LEC) for their deliberation and recommendation to the full Board for a final determination.
In accordance with OAR 820-015-0010, subsections 1 and 2, anyone may submit a complaint against a licensed or unlicensed person. Complaints must be in writing and include evidence to document all charges. Complainants may be requested to provide testimony for the case.
Important note: The OSBEELS does not represent the complainant or respondent. Rather, the OSBEELS represents the public welfare as a whole.
Filing a Complaint
It is the complainant's responsibility to provide a completed Complaint Form
with supporting evidence to OSBEELS. Complainants may not withdraw their complaint once it is received by OSBEELS. Any information submitted is subject to disclosure under Oregon’s Public Records Law. If you have any questions, please contact our office directly at 503-362-2666.
OSBEELS accepts anonymous complaints. However, circumstances arise when the anonymity of the complainant makes it difficult to proceed to an investigation. For example, if insufficient evidence is provided, there may not be support for allegations against the respondent to result in a penalty or sanction. Therefore, if filing an anonymous complaint, it is important for you to provide clear and specific information in relation to the alleged violation(s) of the respondent.
The Complaint Process
Once a Complaint Form
is received, a preliminary review is conducted to determine whether the evidence attached to the complaint is sufficient and the allegation(s) is within the Board’s jurisdiction. If the complaint is lacking evidence of any charge, the complainant is notified and given a deadline within which to provide additional information. When the complaint evidence is sufficient and the Board has jurisdiction, a formal case investigation is commenced.
In addition, OSBEELS can initiate its own investigations, including those involving continuing professional development (CPD) and unlicensed practices.
When a formal case investigation is opened, the respondent is provided a mailed copy of the complaint and is requested to respond to the allegations within 14 days. During the investigation, investigators may seek an expert reviewer for the matter. All relevant information regarding the investigation is compiled and presented to the Board’s LEC in a public meeting. The LEC can decide to issue a Notice of Intent to sanction the subject of the complaint in some manner, require additional investigation, make a referral to expert reviewer(s), or close the investigation without further action.
If the LEC determines there is sufficient evidence and legal grounds to support a violation of statute or rule, it will direct the investigator to prepare a Notice of Intent (NOI). A NOI is a formal document sent to the subject of the complaint (now, the “respondent”.) The NOI sets forth the facts of the case, the alleged violations of statute and rule, and the proposed disciplinary action. It also informs the individual of their contested case rights and how to request a formal hearing with theOffice of Administrative Hearings (OAH)
. NOIs are governed by the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act, under ORS Chapter 183.
In addition to requesting a formal hearing, the Board provides an option to request an informal conference with the LEC. The informal conference is an opportunity for an individual to rebut the matter(s) and/or discuss settling the matter prior to a formal hearing. The objective of an informal conference is to allow the individual to explain the situation and/or their actions for a greater understanding by the LEC. The Board prefers the informal conference to reach a settlement and a signed agreement because the rights of both parties are respected. For that reason, it is important that an individual request and attend an informal conference. If an agreement is not reached, the right to a formal hearing with the OAH is preserved.
Legal counsel may represent an individual during an informal conference as well as during a formal hearing. If an individual’s legal representation will be present, communication is important so that coordination can facilitate resolution. The informal conference is the opportunity for open discussion about the situation and not for legal arguments: a formal hearing with the OAH provides that forum. Furthermore, the LEC may consider new evidence during the informal conference. However, if evidence was not submitted during the investigation, it is expected that an explanation be provided with the new evidence on why it was not previously provided to Board investigators.
The Board respects the rights of all individuals by providing access to a hearing. An informal conference respects the rights of all parties to resolve complaints.