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City Finances Now Open To The Public
Posted by Alex Nochez on Oct 29, 2013 - 9:54:28 AM

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Controller unveiled a new website on October 23 aimed at reducing transparency when it comes to the city's finances.
City Controller Ron Galperin


Controller Ron Galperin announced in a statement the launch of ControlPanelLA, a site that is built with the main purpose of displaying many of the financial specifics of the city.


The site holds information such as revenues, expenditures, and appropriations dating back since July 2011, which was when the city first launched its Financial Management System (FMS).


According to the statement, the site provides specifics on 1,000 revenue sources, 600 expenditure accounts and bi-weekly payroll for 50,000 of the city's employees.


Users will be able to access information like payroll data, which they can then break down by categories, like department, and even visualize the data through various types of charts. They can then download and share the data through social media.


Coupled with ControlPanelLA is CheckbookLA, where residents can view thousands of payments from the city to vendors, which can be viewed by department, vendor, or expenditure along with the amount that was involved.


“The purpose is not just to provide transparency; the goal is to revolutionize financial reporting and the City's budget process with big data — and, even more importantly, smart data,” said Controller Ron Galperin in a statement. “Knowledge is power — and this initiative is about providing both to the people of Los Angeles.”


Both ControlPanelLA and CheckbookLA were created in a joint venture between the city's Information Technology Agency (ITA) and Socrata, Inc., a Seattle-based software company focused on building similar resources for other governmental sites.


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