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High salaries called out in Travel Oregon audit

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A state audit says pay for the director and other managers of Oregon’s travel bureau is among the highest of any state agency, even though Travel Oregon’s top brass oversee a much smaller staff and budget.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that the state paid bureau CEO Todd Davidson $381,000, including a car and cellphone allowance. The Oregon Tourism Commission has since given Davidson a 3% raise.

By comparison, the director of the Department of Human Services, who leads Oregon’s largest state agency with roughly 8,600 employees, was paid $200,000 as of June.

Davidson agreed with all of the auditors’ recommendations and said the agency is committed to improvement. 

News release from Oregon Secretary of State's Office: 

Travel Oregon should strengthen controls over contracting procedures and take steps to share more information regarding the compensation of agency leadership to better inform the Legislature, according to an audit released Thursday by Secretary of State Bev Clarno.

The findings are outlined in the report entitled: “Travel Oregon Should Strengthen Controls over Contracting and Improve Accountability of Compensation to Inform Decision Makers.”

Travel Oregon has generally demonstrated a commitment to ensuring contracts are in place to provide for the needs of the agency, the audit found.

However, the audit makes recommendations to further strengthen contracting procedures.

Additionally, the audit highlights the fact that Travel Oregon’s managers are some of the highest compensated managers in state government. Auditors found the agency lacks detailed documentation to support the decisions that led to these high levels of compensation.

“Travel Oregon should improve its transparency and accountability in how it spends taxpayer money,” Clarno said. “Travel Oregon receives funding courtesy of the lodging tax, which is paid by taxpayers in Oregon and visitors alike.”

Read the full audit on the Secretary of State website (

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  1. What the heck, it is only taxpayer monies, not like it is real or a limited commodity. It would be nice to get 3% every year like the State employees, the State taxman, the county tax man and not be really held accountable for where it is spent or the value returned.

    1. It’s to the point where industry runs Oregon. Taxpayers are just the bank, nothing more. Our votes do not count, nor does our opinions. Take the timber lawsuit the We The People won hands down. The timber companies, the enviros, and kate brown just threw us all under the bus. Sorry, but not one timber company nor environmental outfit speaks for me. The “historic pact” was held behind closed doors out of public view or input. Follow the money trails and smoke these crooked people out. This needs to change

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