As promised last August in response to the Bell salary scandal, State Controller John Chiang has collected salary data for all California city and county employees to create an online database. This data has always been public information, but few local governments had made it readily available. Chiang stated his goals for the website:
"The absence of transparency and accountability invites corruption, self-dealing and the abuse of public funds. The website will help taxpayers scrutinize local government compensation and force public officials to account for how they spend public resources."
The Local Government Compensation Reports (LGCR) database includes compensation data for 2009 for city and county employees, including:
- Department and job classification
- Minimum and maximum annual salaries for each position
- Pension contributions
- Deferred compensation
- Amount paid for health, dental and vision benefits
Not all local governments have reported their data, and some data was submitted incorrectly. According to Chiang's press release, the database will be updated weekly with new information as it is received. He also stated that the database will be expanded to include public transit, fire and police department compensation data by June 2011.