Government Compensation
in California

About this Website

In 2010, the State Controller's Office (SCO) created the Government Compensation in California (GCC) website to enhance government transparency and provide a single statewide database that is accessible by anyone at any time. At first, the SCO collected government compensation data as a component of the financial transaction reports from cities, counties, and special districts under the authority of Government Code sections 53891 and 53892. In 2014, the Legislature explicitly authorized SCO to collect compensation data and required SCO to publish the information on its website.

The GCC website contains pay and benefit information for positions in cities, counties, special districts, and state government, including California State University (CSU). Other public employers submit pay and benefit information on a voluntary basis for positions in superior courts, the University of California, community college districts, K-12 education providers, First 5 commissions, and fairs and expositions.

The staff members of the state Legislature, as well as the lieutenant governor, are not paid by SCO and are not included on the GCC website.

SCO posts the information as it was reported by each public employer, and does not audit for accuracy. Questions about data details should be directed to the individual public employers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often is the website updated?

Each employer category is updated at least once a year according to the GCC publication schedule.

Why are employee names not included?

The GCC website is intended to detail the cost of public employee pay and benefits for positions regardless of the individuals. SCO does not receive employee names for most positions, but names may be available directly through the employers. Additional questions about state government or CSU employees may be submitted to SCO on the Contact Us page.

Why does the website include some types of public employers for more years?

The GCC website has expanded over time to include more categories of public employers. Community college districts were added in 2011. Superior courts, the University of California, K-12 education providers, First 5 commissions, and California fairs and expositions were first included in 2013.

Why are positions not detailed as part-time or full-time?

The GCC website includes all government employees with wages reportable on Box 5 of a federal W-2 form, regardless of whether the work was part-time or full-time. Each public employer has its own payroll system, including a method of identifying positions as part-time or full-time. Employers are unable to provide this information in one consistent format.

Why is the regular pay for some employees greater than the maximum of the pay range listed for that position?

Some employees receive other forms of compensation beyond regular pay, such as bonuses or premium pay. Some people have more than one position. In other cases, a calendar year may include an extra pay period. Contact the employer for more details.

Why are full-service cities and contract cities showing significant differences in pay and benefit totals?

In full-service cities, employees handle services such as police and fire protection. Contract cities hire third parties to cover some or all of these services. Only full-time and part-time positions are published on this website; contracted positions are not. Therefore, a full-service city may show a higher pay and benefit total than a contract city. Please contact the individual cities to determine if they contract out for services.

Why do some public employers have no paid employees?

SCO requires governing officers to be included in the compensation report even if they are not paid. Several independent special districts consist of only uncompensated board members.

How can I download the pay and benefit information so that I can analyze it myself?

Go to the download page for files in CSV format that can be opened and analyzed with spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel.

What if I have more questions about the GCC website?

Please submit your questions on the Contact Us page and a staff member will respond to you as soon as possible.