Data Notes

In February 2010, the Yankee Institute launched the CT Sunlight Project to bring greater accountability and transparency to state government spending in Connecticut. Three types of information are available on the site: payroll data, pension benefits, and expenditure data.

Yankee conducted a pilot project to add payroll and pension data for municipal employees in 2010. There are no plans to collect this data in the future.

All of the data was gathered via a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request. The Yankee Institute would like to thank all those state and local government officials who worked diligently to gather the data.

Payroll – State Government

Data was provided by the State Comptroller’s office via a series of Freedom of Information Act requests: 

  • 2010 – Data for calendar years 2007, 2008, and 2009
  • 2011 – Data for calendar year 2010
  • 2012 – Data for calendar year 2011
  • 2013 - Data for calendar year 2012

The State of Connecticut divides payroll into two categories: Limited and non-limited. The vast majority of state agencies are in the non-limited category, meaning data regarding position, start dates, etc. are available. Personnel that work for four agencies, the University of Connecticut, UConn Health Center, the Judicial Branch, and Legislative Management, are governed by different rules. Data for these agencies does not include position titles and other relevant information.

Yankee submits a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in January for payroll data from the preceding calendar year. It generally takes 2-4 weeks for the state to process the request and 2-4 weeks for Yankee to prepare the data for the CT Sunlight database. New data is usually available by March 1.

This information was formatted for the CT Sunlight database by Yankee staff. Any errors are an unintentional result of errors in the provided data sets or in transcription mistakes.

Salary information for the University fo Connecticut Women's Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma is not included in the data files supplied to the Yankee Institute each year. Yankee addresses this issue by filing a Freedom of Information Act request directly to the University of Connecticut for Coach Auriemma's salary. The information is added to the database manually each year. Repeated requests for an explanation of the situation go unanswered.

Payroll – Municipal Governments

Data was provided to Yankee via Freedom of Information Act requests of local officials in each of Connecticut’s 169 towns. More than 100 towns complied with the request and submitted the requested information. Some towns did not comply and were reported to the Freedom of Information Commission.

Municipal payroll data was collected as a pilot project during the summer of 2010. The project concluded in December 2010. There are no plans to re-start the project at this time.

Pensions – State Government

Data was provided by the State Comptroller’s office via a series of Freedom of Information Act requests: 

  • 2010 – Data for calendar years 2007, 2008, and 2009
  • 2011 – Data for calendar year 2010
  • 2012 – Data for calendar year 2011

Pensions reflected are calculated amounts based on pension formulas prescribed by law. They do not reflect Cost-of-Living increases that are routinely factored into such benefits.

Pension data is requested in January of each year for the preceding calendar year. The data is generally provided by the state within 2-4 weeks of the request. Processing the data for the CT Sunlight database takes approximately 2-4 weeks. Data is usually published to the site by March 1.

This information was formatted for the CT Sunlight database by Yankee staff. Any errors are an unintentional result of errors in the provided data sets or in transcription mistakes. E-mail heath@yankeeinstitute.org to report any errors or problems with the data.

Pensions – Municipal Governments

Data was provided to Yankee via Freedom of Information Act requests of local officials in each of Connecticut’s 169 towns. More than 100 towns complied with the request and submitted the requested information. Some towns did not comply and were reported to the Freedom of Information Commission.

Municipal pension data was collected as a pilot project during the summer of 2010. The project concluded in December 2010. There are no plans to re-start the project at this time.

Checkbook – State Government

Descriptions key
Category Description
Acct Description Account
BU Description Business Unit
Dept Description Department
Fund Description Fund
Program Description Program
Project Description Project
SID Description Special Identification

State government's itemized expenditures are posted in Checkbook. The data is an electronic version of the state’s checkbook for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. These were provided from the state’s CORE-CT database via a FOI request of the State Comptroller’s office.

The state of Connecticut's fiscal year spans from July 1 to June 30.

In July 2013, Yankee filed a new FOIA request with the State of Connecticut for fiscal 2008-2010 data and removed the existing files for these fiscal years from the site as the quality of the fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012 state data files was dramatically improved. The new data will be added as available.

This data is requested via FOIA request in July for expenditures from the preceding fiscal year. It takes 3-4 months for the state to validate and process the fiscal year data before fulfilling the request. It takes 2-4 weeks to process the data for the CT Sunlight database. Data should be posted by November 1.