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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs
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In a move to improve the city’s transparency, Los Angeles City (L.A.) Controller Ron Galperin has released Inside L.A. City Finance, a new online dashboard that tracks the city’s financial information in real time.

The dashboard contains data sets and visualizations that show the current balance in each of the city’s 800-plus funds, including the General and Reserve Funds. The dashboard also charts city salaries and overtime, as well as tracks budget revenues and expenditures. In addition to providing raw data and charts, the dashboard also provides information to help users contextualize the data, including definitions for fiscal terms and phrases, and explanations as to how the city determines its budget and uses revenue.

In 2013, Galperin launched the Control Panel L.A., which was the city’s first open data portal. The Controller’s office said the new dashboard enhances the existing open data portal by “giving Angelenos a more transparent picture of where the City’s money comes from, and how it is kept and spent.”

The dashboard is updated daily for all city fund balances, bi-weekly for payroll, and monthly for revenue and expenditures. City budget data will be updated after the beginning of the next fiscal year in July.

“Until now, there hasn’t been a simple way for Angelenos to track the City’s complex and constantly changing finances in real time,” said Galperin. “This dashboard makes it easy for everyone to see how much money is in each of the City’s hundreds of funds daily, what revenue is coming in and where it’s coming from, and the current state of department spending. It gives residents a better understanding of L.A.’s financial health and encourages even greater accountability for public dollars.”

The dashboard includes:

  • Daily balance of each fund controlled by the city;
  • General Fund monthly balances;
  • Reserve Fund monthly balances;
  • Special purpose fund balances;
  • Debt capacity and spending;
  • Budget breakdown;
  • Revenue received by the city;
  • Money spent by the city; and
  • Payroll costs, including salaries and overtime.
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