L.A. controller unveils website to make city finances more transparent – latimes.com
By Michael Finnegan and Ben Welsh
October 24, 2013
Los Angeles’ new controller moved Wednesday to open city finances to quick and easy public scrutiny online, unveiling a website with extensive detail on how City Hall collects and spends billions of dollars.
The website, Control Panel L.A., gives users access to a huge volume of data on taxpayer expenditures for police, sanitation, street repairs and other services — information that previously would have taken weeks or months to get through formal requests for records.
… The system has significant gaps, including a lack of names attached to salaries. It shows a clerk typist with an annual salary of less than $53,000 receiving more than $300,000 in pay last year; the website gives no name or explanation.
The site also gives no details on more than $100 million in liability claims paid by the city as it struggled to recover from a fiscal crisis that yielded deep service cuts. Also absent from the site are spending breakdowns on construction projects of independent agencies that run the city’s water and power systems, the Port of Los Angeles, and airports.