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Transparent Utah Help

San Juan County - Angel Arch (John Fellmeth)
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Welcome to Transparent Utah

Utah has been a leader in government transparency since 2009 with a commitment to making it easier for the public to get detailed financial information about state and local government spending. This help section, provides an overview of how the latest version of the website, Transparent Utah 3.0, functions. 

The “mobile friendly” streamlined version automatically loads if you access the Transparent Utah site using a phone or tablet.  The mobile version makes it easy to search for employee or vendor pay.  If you would like the desktop interface on your mobile device, just click the “desktop” link.

Quick Search Bar  – Detailed search for Employee Pay, Vendor Pay or Job Title
Quick Search Employee Payroll

At the top of the Transparent Utah page, just below the title bar, you will see the Quick Search bar. Use the drop down menu on the left to select your search topic, then type the appropriate name on the search bar.  This is the quickest way to search for an individual government employee, government vendor or job title. Use the drop down menu on the left to choose between the search bars.

See the Video Tour of Employee Payroll Quick Search

Quick Search Bar Vendor Payments

See the Video Tour of Vendor Payments Quick Search

Quick Search Job Title

The ability to match a specific name, or partial name matches is very powerful and Transparent Utah includes that ability to help you in your searches. The job title quick search can generate large searches, so Transparent Utah provides rich tools on the “Job Title Tools” page.

For more details about using the search bar to refine your search, visit the Quick Search Help page. 

Guide to Available Information

There are 14 Information Sections (represented by a graphic tile) on the Transparency home page, color coded into 6 groups.

Green tiles link to government employee compensation searches. Blue tiles link to Entity information, such as for the State or a University, school, city, county or town. A black tile indicates connection to the Office’s Project KIDS K-12 education spending and performance.

Orange tiles link to Health related information including the Health Cost Compare project and CARES/ ARPA payments for a centralized view of pandemic spending.  Mauve tiles provide information on government vendor payments. Red tiles provide access to job title searches.

Helpful Overview of Entity Fiscal Year on Transparent Utah

It is important to remember that the State of Utah and many local government entities, also called “political subdivisions”, such as colleges and universities, cities, counties and school districts, have a fiscal year that is not the calendar year.

The State’s fiscal year starts on July 1 and ends on June 30th. So fiscal year 2022 started on July 1 2021 and ended on June 30, 2022. Some local government entities have the same fiscal year as the State and others may have a fiscal year that matches the calendar year, or a completely different fiscal year.

So when the system displays “2019” data for the State of Utah, remember it started in July of 2018!  Also, when comparing different entities, data from “2019” may include an entity with a calendar 2019 year, and one with a fiscal 2019 year (such as the State’s described above).  So one entity may include January-December data and the other may include July-June data.  

Highest Paid Employees

This section provides a table of the top paid employees in the state or selected entity.  By default the system displays a table of the State’s top paid employees (2014-2019) sorted by highest wages. 

For details about this section, visit the Highest Paid Employees Help page.

Highest Paid Vendors

By default this page provides lists of the State of Utah’s vendors based on either Largest Single Payment or Largest Payees (by fiscal year).

To get more details about this page, please visit the Highest Paid Vendors Help Page

Entity Overview

The entity overview page is sometimes referred to as the “Open Checkbook” or “Entity Checkbook”.  It shows the revenue and expenses of the selected entity for multiple years. Select the entity first and then explore the three tabs, Surplus/(Deficit), Expense Analysis, or Revenue Analysis.  A SURPLUS occurs when revenues exceed expenses. A DEFICIT occurs when expenses exceed revenues.

Detailed Search – Employee Pay

The State and other government entities provide a variety of public goods and services. Behind these efforts is a professional workforce of thousands of individuals working on a variety of issues and opportunities, from keeping the public safe to helping aid the poor while moving millions of us around efficiently. To get more details about this page, please visit the Detailed Search – Employee Pay help page.

Detailed Search – Vendors

How much do government entities pay vendors?  On this page you can find out!  Different government entities may use different names for what seems to be the same vendor. “Office Depot/Office Max” may include the city name, the store number, or just one of the two names.  The same rules apply to vendor names as to employee names (see the Quick Search above for details).  For more details, visit the Detailed Search-Vendors Help page.

Transaction Details 

See the Video Tour of Transaction Details

Transparent Utah also integrates data browsing similar to earlier versions of the Transparent Utah website. For those who are used to searching for a specific transaction, this capability is available under Transaction Details.

To learn more about the Transaction Details function, please visit the Transaction Details Help Page.

Downloading Data

When you customize a search, in the data section, you will be able to download the data in a variety of formats. You can then import the data into a spreadsheet or database to make your own charts or graphs or other analyses.

Glossary of Terms

Transparent Utah provides access to financial data.  If you drill down in a graph or table to see further details you may see column titles that are “accounting” titles.  This glossary provides a brief description of some of the most common terms.

Transparency File Layout Description

Please note that these terms are accounting terms that have been adapted to the Transparent Utah environment.  

Administration:

The transparent.utah.gov website is administered by the Office of the State Auditor.

If you have questions about transparent.utah.gov please contact us by email at: transparent@utah.gov