State Controller Unveils New Open Data Website on Local Government Finances

State Controller John Chiang doubled down on his efforts to promote government transparency Monday with the unveiling of new open data website, ByTheNumbers.sco.ca.gov. The new portal contains a wealth of financial and statistical information for cities and counties around the state, allowing visitors to track spending, revenues, assets, and liabilities with a simple click of the mouse. 

"They can hold their elected officials accountable, they can ask the tough questions, they can talk to each other and come up with the great solutions," the controller said of the new website’s benefits. 

The website contains more than 13 million fields of data for counties and cities over an eleven-year period (2002-2013). Its unveiling is part of a larger effort to boost government transparency and accountability, which has been a top priority for Chiang. As part of that effort, Chiang also launched publicpay.ca.gov last year, which publishes employee payroll data for hundreds of thousands of public employees across the state. In April, he unveiled the new TrackProp30.ca.gov, which allows taxpayers to keep tabs on the money received from Proposition 30.

League of California Cities Executive Director Chris McKenzie heralded the latest effort as a major step forward for open government and civic engagement.

“This new website will complement the open data and related transparency efforts of cities across the state,” McKenzie said. “We commend the Controller for finding an effective way to make key city financial data much more accessible and useful to taxpayers and local agencies alike.”

Matt Cate, Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties, also praised the site for fostering transparency and helping the public gain a better understanding of the government process.

Additional upgrades to the new site based upon user feedback are expected later this fall.

Explore the new website here.


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