Tonight, we’re launching a new public data section on our website with a searchable database of the Little Rock government employee payroll. It includes all employed by the City of Little Rock as well as those employed by the three independent city agencies — the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Little Rock National Airport and Little Rock Wastewater. Together, that amounts to the annual base salaries of more than 700 local government employees and the hourly wages of nearly 2,000 more.

We decided to publish salary information on public employees as part of what we hope will be a growing database. It’s public information, readily accessible to anyone who asks. Portions of it have been published in other Arkansas media for years and we owe a debt to the Texas Tribune for their counsel in emulating their on-line publication of Texas public employee pay. The new database complements the legislature’s decision this year to create on-line “checkbooks” on public expenditures for greater accountability. The biggest portion of public expenses is in payroll. Employees, too, can benefit from sunshine that illuminates whether bosses are treating similar employees equally. It might even be evidence to the public that some employees aren’t paid enough.


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