City Controller Unveils New Site To Show How City’s Budget Operates

By Ariel Worthy

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb has launched a new website that allows visitors to see how and where the city’s budget is spent.

The site, Fiscal Focus, is an update of a previous site. It now updates nightly and shows more detail in spending by department and council district. Visitors are also able to see payroll information and break it down by employee ethnicity, gender, age and years of service.

Lamb said the improved reporting is part of being transparent.

“We are now moving to a new level of engagement and interaction with citizens of the city with respect to finance,” Lamb said. “This is sort of our next step.”

The new features include Budget Explorer, Checkbook PGH and Payroll Explorer.

Budget Explorer shows detailed information on city revenue sources, as well as on spending under the city’s operating budget. It also shows information on the capital budget, including the costs of long-term projects and the amount spent in each city council district.

Checkbook PGH shows information for all goods and services purchased by the city, complete with information on spending by city departments and payments to city vendors.

Payroll Explorer shows city employee payroll information, including total wages and benefit costs for each employee. Personal information is not provided, but information can be found based on demographics.

Budgetary and purchasing information date back to 2012; payroll data goes back as far as 2017.