L.A. Launches Fresh Finance Site with Open Data
By Alida Moore
Los Angeles became the newest city to join the global movement to empower citizens with open data. Last week, the California metropolis launched Control Panel L.A., the city controller’s new website for open data aggregation and visualization. City of Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin, the architect of the project, spoke at the unveiling. “Knowledge is power, and this initiative is providing both to the people of Los Angeles,” he said.
Transparency is Key
Control Panel LA is another in a series of government websites around the world designed to provide transparency to citizens. The open data tide is turning and more and more government leaders are feeling enthusiastic about the possibilities for a stronger economy and a more engaged citizenry through open data. Galperin explained the benefit of open data in his speech, saying, “We have a historic opportunity to make our city operate faster and more transparently. It is an opportunity for our residents and others to take a closer look at our government.”
Power to the Public
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also attended the launch event. He praised Galperin’s hard work in the open data intiative, and expressed his excitement at having Socrata as a partner in this journey. “This data is not our data — it is the public’s data,” Garcetti said. “The more tools we give to the public to track important measures, the more power the public will have.”
Galperin gave a 10 minute live demo of the new site, showing off data categories including audits, payroll, expenditures, and revenue. The site also features CheckBookLA, an app to search expenditures by department, vendor name, and type.