State controller orders cities, counties to provide salary data for website

By City News Service

Responding to the uproar over salaries paid to Bell elected officials and top administrators, state Controller John Chiang Tuesday directed all cities and counties in California to provide a report of employees’ and elected officials’ salaries so they can be posted on the controller’s website.

“The absence of transparency is a breeding ground for waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars,’' Chiang said. “A single website with accessible information will make sure that excessive pay is no longer able to escape public scrutiny and accountability.”

Local governments are already required to provide summary information about revenues and expenditures to the controller’s office, with payroll information included in overall amounts provided for individual agencies. Websites for the city and county of San Diego show salaries by position and ranges but no names are included.

The new rule will require governments to provide salaries for each classification of elected official and public employee.

Chiang said the website listing the public employee salaries will be updated annually. Governments that fail to provide the data will be fined up to $5,000.