CONTROLLER GALPERIN THROWS OPEN THE DOORS TO THE CITY’S FINANCIAL DATA

Controller Ron Galperin today launched an open data website that reveals details of the City of Los Angeles’ revenues and spending – and makes them accessible, searchable and downloadable by the public.
ControlPanelLA is accessible at https://controllerdata.lacity.org/.

This first phase of ControlPanelLA includes data detailing billions of dollars of City transactions – with specifics on nearly 1,000 revenue sources, 600 expenditure accounts and bi-weekly payroll for nearly 50,000 City employees. The tool also opens up the City’s “checkbook” via CheckbookLA, an application allowing users to search tens of thousands of payments to external vendors by department, vendor name, or expenditure type.

“Knowledge is power – and this initiative is about providing both to the people of Los Angeles,” said Controller Galperin. “This is the start of a new way to think about transparency at City Hall - not just reactive transparency, but proactive transparency and the road to a truly open government for an informed public.”

Galperin’s new open data and transparency initiative is the first step in his efforts to bring cutting-edge technology and an innovative approach to managing the City’s finances.

“The purpose is not just to provide transparency,” said Galperin; “the goal is to revolutionize financial reporting and the City’s budget process with big data – and, even more importantly, smart data. Open data at its best is about helping identify issues, questions, problems and opportunities to do things differently. Transparency is not an end in and of itself - it’s a means to make government work better.”

With ControlPanelLA, the public will have - for the first time - direct, centralized access to a wealth of financial and other data which can be reviewed, searched, analyzed, visualized, downloaded, and shared -- online and anytime. "This is exactly where City Hall should go-- using innovation and technology to increase transparency and accountability. LA residents have a right to know where their tax dollars are going and today we're making sure the info is online for everyone to see," said Mayor Garcetti.

"I want to thank the Controller and Mayor for this long overdue, next step for greater transparency. This new website will help not only our staff in making the best decisions for Angelenos, but will allow all stakeholders to cut through City hall red tape and get the answers they need quickly and efficiently,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. “As Budget Chair, I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Controller, the Mayor and my colleagues on the Council to develop more innovative ways to make information about the City's finances even more accessible to the people who have entrusted us with them."

"Today's announcement is a great example of government harnessing technology to do more with less. Open data will make Los Angeles more accountable, accessible and efficient and as Chair of the Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee I will continue to work with the Mayor and Controller to open more data sets," said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.

The information and features of ControlPanelLA include:

·CheckbookLA – A virtual City “checkbook” that enables users to search payments to external vendors by department, vendor name, or expenditure type;

·The Data Catalog -- A treasure trove of the City’s financial data at the public’s fingertips - including revenues, appropriations and expenditures of the General Fund, audits, and more than 57,000 payments to City vendors;

·Search tools -- Multiple ways for the public, researchers, and civic leaders to explore and view the data line-by-line, or in the form of charts, graphs and other visualizations.

·Developer tools – Interactive options for techies to create their own apps, and to save or to share them on the site with others.

The data provided on ControlPanelLA includes information about General Fund revenues, expenditures and appropriations dating back to July 2011, - when the City launched its current Financial Management System.

The ControlPanelLA and the CheckbookLA were developed in record time in partnership with the City’s Information Technology Agency (ITA) and Socrata Inc., a Seattle-based cloud software company dedicated to democratizing access to government data. Socrata has launched open data services for the federal government, counties and cities across the United States, as well as for organizations including the World Bank and Medicare.

"Open data" commonly refers to data that is accessible, discoverable and usable by the public.It is also free from restrictions and is released in a format that can be retrieved, downloaded, searched, shared and put to use.

Galperin’s office is also collaborating with the Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, Information Technology Agency, City Administrative Officer and others towards a broader vision of open data in the City of Los Angeles.

“The Information Technology Agency is proud to partner with Controller Ron Galperin who has moved the City of Los Angeles forward with an open data strategy that shows transparency,” said General Manager of the City’s Information Technology Agency, Steve Reneker. “ControlPanelLA will provide the foundation to expand accessible City information to both Angelenos and internal City departments.”

Other reactions from stakeholders:

“The launch of ControlPanelLA is the first step to bringing financial sunshine to the citizens of Los Angeles in an easily accessible, interactive website that allows Angelenos to see exactly how their tax dollars are spent,” said Jay Handal, Co-chair of Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates. “This will be a valuable tool for the Neighborhood Councils.”

“The Information Technology Agency is proud to partner with Controller Ron Galperin who has moved the City of Los Angeles forward with an open data strategy that shows transparency and will provide the foundation and strategy to expand accessible City information to both Angelinos and internal City departments,” said Steve Reneker, General Manager of the Information Technology Agency.