California State Controller's seal

Government Data and Accountability

The Controller’s audit authority, unique in its independence from both the Governor and the Legislature, is provided for in the state constitution. Audits ensure that government spending at the state and local levels is free of waste and abuse. Audits may result in denial of payments and/or return of funds that were spent incorrectly.

The Controller is also responsible for prescribing uniform accounting and reporting guidelines for local governments.  Financial Transactions and Compensation Reports are reviewed for reasonableness.

The Controller’s transparency team also has developed tools for Californians to do their own analyses of government spending. The Government Compensation in California database includes pay information for public employee positions in cities, counties, special districts, state agencies, Superior Courts, First 5 Commissions, Fairs and Expositions, K-12 education providers, University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, as well as legislators and state elected officials. The Government Financial Reports database includes detailed financial data from 58 California counties and more than 450 cities, as well as pension-related information for state and local government.