Legal Alerts Sep 15, 2014

State Controller Rolls Out an Open Data Website on Local Government Finances

New Website Promotes Government Transparency

State Controller Rolls Out an Open Data Website on Local Government Finances

In a major move to enhance government transparency, State Controller John Chiang rolled out a new open data website last week that lists more than 13 million fields of financial data for cities and counties. The site,, allows any person visiting the site to track revenues, expenditures, liabilities, assets, fund balances and even basic statistics about each city and county.

Currently, the site posts data for an 11-year period, spanning FY 2002-03 through 2012-13 for all 58 California counties and 450 cities. The Controller’s office indicates that data for prior decades will be added as the website is upgraded. Additionally, data will be added for each of California’s approximately 130 pension systems, including assets and liabilities; additions to plan assets, such as employer and employee contributions; deductions to plan assets, such as benefit payments and administrative expenses; statistics on the number of active, inactive and retired members; net return on investments and actuarial funding.

The Controller has been collecting and publishing this data since 1911 in paper form. The new website will make the data more readily available to the public and joins the Controller’s other websites:, which includes pay information for public employees, and, which helps taxpayers track every dollar raised by Proposition 30 for public schools.

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