Orange County Grand Jury Report
In 2012, the City of Placentia received straight A’s from the Orange County Grand Jury for the accessibility, content and clarity of the employee compensation information on its website. In fact, the City was one of only five cities in Orange County to receive an excellent rating from the Grand Jury.
To better understand and rate the clarity, content and accessibility of employee compensation costs, the 2011-2012 Orange County Grand Jury reviewed the reported compensation costs that each local government agency (i.e., county, city and special district) is required, by law, to post on their website for all employee positions within their organization. Also reviewed was the top-level compensation cost for all elected officials and executives over $100,000 in base salary.
Ranking and Assessment
The Grand Jury assessed the compensation costs information based on the following three categories:
- Accessibility – Are transparent compensation costs readily identifiable from the home page, accessible without complex website search and layered navigations?
- Content & Clarity for Executive Compensation Page – Are the components of both actual salary and all benefit costs presented? Are the components shown in detail, with a total compensation cost included in table form? Is the compensation information presented in a clear concise format that can be easily read and understood by the average viewer?
- Content & Clarity for Employee Compensation Page – Are the components of both actual salary and all benefit costs presented? Are the components shown in detail, with a total compensation cost included in table form? Is the composition information presented in a clear, concise format that may be easily read and understood by the average viewer?
Although the study found that compensation cost transparency is improving in Orange County local governments, with a few notable exceptions, complete pension costs for employees are still hidden from public view. The City of Placentia was given high marks by the Grand Jury and its website was placed on the Grand Jury’s 2012 Gold Honor Roll for providing the best compensation cost transparency. The Grand Jury’s full report cost compensation transparency can be viewed here