Photo: Beth Niblock, CIO, Louisville Metro Government. Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Office of Technology Techlines.
Searching government employee salaries has proved a popular Web activity. Heavily frequented online government salary databases, like the Manhattan Institute's SeeThroughNY and The Sacramento Bee's California state worker salary database have been especially popular among Government Technology readers. Citizens of Louisville, Ky., have access to a Web tool for searching city and county employees as well. The difference is that theirs comes directly from the joint city and county government of Louisville and Jefferson County (Louisville Metro Government) and is updated weekly. It also tracks overtime worked.
The salary search is part of Your Tax Dollars at Work, a section of the Louisville portal that offers numerous searches on the various aspects of how tax dollars are spent. By Jan. 31, 2010, citizens will be able to see online every contractor invoice for $250,000 or more in conjunction with a city or county project. By June 2010, Louisville residents will have every invoice worth $25,000 or more at their fingertips. The links will include the check numbers and invoice ID numbers.
"When you drill through and look at our vendors, you can see the contracts that are associated with them to support our ability to purchase from that particular vendor," said Beth Niblock, CIO of Louisville Metro Government.
It's not clear what the city and county expect citizens to do with such granular data. Niblock said the city and county didn't yet have plans to connect a performance-measuring function to the data. Creation of the project was mandated by legislation passed by the Louisville Metro Council and signed by Mayor Jerry Abramson.
Currently Your Tax Dollars at Work offers details on which taxes fund what operations, the portions of money given to each agency and various other pieces of data.
Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.