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State Aviation Board Best Practices

The State Aviation Board is a seven member policy making board - they are given statutory power by the legislature to make policy decisions and enforce regulations, however, they do not appoint agency or executive directors. Each member provides policy guidance and oversight to the Department of Aviation, are appointed by the Governor, and represent aviation and community interests from the public and private sectors statewide. The board also serves as the aviation modal committee responsible for aviation-specific project recommendations for programs such as Connect Oregon.

Governance Best Practices

A review of best practices by the Department of Administration (DAS) produced a fairly comprehensive list of suggested practices. Several of the suggestions were not applicable to boards in the State of Oregon. The best practices that were most relevant to the direction provided in the budget note and those that could readily be applied to Oregon governing boards are listed below.

1. Executive Director Selection,
Expectations and Feedback
  • The board has defined processes for the selection of an executive director/agency head.
  • The board establishes and communicates executive director/agency head expectations and expected outcomes.
  • The board periodically (at least annually) provides performance feedback to the executive director/agency head.
2. Strategic Management
  • Board members understand the agency’s statutory mission, and when appropriate, take necessary actions to ensure the mission remains relevant.
  • The board has an institutionalized process for periodically reviewing and providing input into the agency’s definition of a mission statement and high-level goals (Strategic Plan).
  • The board reviews the agency’s Annual Performance Progress Report.
3. Strategic Policy Development
  • Board members work with executive director/agency head to define the board’s role in strategic policy-making. Typically, board involvement should be greater for major policies issues—those that impact the agency’s mission and high-level goals—than for more functionally oriented policy issues.
  • Board members review all policy option packages prior to submission. When reviewing policy packages, board members will want to ensure that requests are aligned with the mission and goals of the agency.
  • Board members should have a consultation process in place to ensure communications about board policy with the Governor, the Legislature and other appropriate constitutional officers.
4. Fiscal Oversight
  • Board members review all proposed budgets.
  • Board members periodically review key financial information to ensure that the agency is appropriately accounting for resources.
  • Board members review all audits and other similar information to ensure that resources are used and actions taken by the agency are in compliance with funding requirements, accounting rules and other federal, state and local laws and financial control practices.
5. Board Management
  • Board members need to act in accordance with their role as a public representative of the agency.
  • The board monitors and coordinates with other boards where responsibilities and interests are closely related or overlap.
  • Board members work with the executive director/agency head to determine the targeted amount of time to be spent on strategic management verses strategic policy development issues.
  • Board has adopted practices that support effective meetings, such as use of consent agendas, subcommittees, opportunities for public comment, and scheduled “free-time” on agendas for richer and more meaningful discussions.
  • Board members identify and attend appropriate member training sessions, and conduct periodic self-evaluations and audits of board practices.