The Governor on Thursday, July 2, signed League-sponsored AB 341 (Achadjian), an important measure that enhances local government transparency by adjusting the timing under which local agencies must submit financial and employee compensation data to the State Controller. This legislation goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian’s (R-San Luis Obispo) legislation is the result of several months of meetings between local agency representatives and the Controller’s office. These discussions focused on how to improve the accuracy of local data by adjusting the deadline for local agencies to submit annual financial transactions reports and employee compensation information to the Controller.
Under the current statute, local agencies are required to submit this data to the State Controller’s office within 110 days of the end of the agency’s fiscal year. Most local agencies operate on a fiscal year that runs July 1 to June 30, which means that these agencies have just three and a half months to complete final audited data. The problem, however is that typically auditing firms can take up to six months to complete their work. Local agencies potentially submitted incomplete data to the Controller and then had to resubmit updated information. When AB 341 goes into effect in 2016, the deadlines to submit this data will mean that the Controller receives complete data, increasing the transparency of local government to the public.
The legislation also changes the timing requirements for local agencies to submit employee compensation information to the Controller. Agencies had to send this data for the prior calendar year in October, which again led to outdated data. Now agencies will be required to submit the data annually by April 30, just after employee W-2 information is released. The revised process, which the leadership of the League’s Fiscal Officers Department refined, will save costs and time to both local agencies and the state while providing more accurate data to the public.
The League appreciates the collaborative work of Assembly Member Achadjian, the California State Association of Counties, the California Special Districts Association and the office of new Controller Betty Yee in this successful effort.