Saturday, July 12, 2014

(Contra Costa County) Oakley affirms grand jury report advocating government transparency

 July 10, 2014
Contra Costa Times
By Rowena Coetsee
OAKLEY -- Council members signed off this week on the city's affirmation of a recent grand jury report that advocated local governments post public documents online.
One of the topics the Contra Costa County grand jury examined in its 2013-14 report was how well cities and special districts in the region are complying with the California Public Records Act, which identifies the types of information that must be made available to the public upon request.
The grand jury recommended that these agencies consider posting on their websites those documents it deemed especially valuable.
The records it identified are agendas for public meetings and supporting documents, statements of economic interest, employment contracts, annual audits, and reimbursements for travel and entertainment expenses.
The city agreed with the jury's recommendation and already has the documents available online.
Here's how the public can find them:
Go to
For Form 700, a document in which certain public officials are required to disclose personal assets and income, click on Departments, City Clerk, Related Links, Statement of Economic Interest.
The site contains documents submitted by some city employees, as well as by all City Council members, the city manager, city attorney and the finance director.
For employment and business contracts, click on Departments, City Clerk, Related Links, Search for Public Records, Agreements.
For annual audits, click on Departments, Finance, Financial Documents. This will enable you to inspect the city's budgets and get more detailed pictures of its financial health, known as Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports,
For travel and entertainment information, click on Departments, City Council, City Council Department Budget. The budget lists various categories of funds allocated for council expenses, including travel, but doesn't include a line item for entertainment because the city doesn't appropriate money for that purpose.
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at

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