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Treasurer’s DebtWatch Open Data Website Wins Best of California Technology Award

August 11, 2016

Contact: Marc Lifsher

SACRAMENTO – DebtWatch, State Treasurer John Chiang’s open data website, that tracks  $1.5 trillion in state debt, has been recognized with a Best of California technology award.

The website was named “Best Application Serving the Public” during Thursday’s 2016 California Technology Forum in Sacramento, Calif.

“We are honored that DebtWatch has been recognized for empowering individuals to reconnect with their governments by bringing out of the shadows years of data involving issued debt,” said Chiang. “It is my office’s mission to make government more transparent, and DebtWatch allows anyone to be a citizen watchdog and see precisely how taxpayer dollars are being spent.”

It is the fourth consecutive year a website built under Chiang’s leadership has been recognized with a Best of California award. DebtWatch was the first open data website developed and launched after Chiang became Treasurer in January 2015. During two previous terms as State Controller, Chiang launched the “ByTheNumbers” open data website, which features a host of government financial data. He also created “TrackProp30” to help taxpayers follow school funds raised by the Proposition 30 ballot measure, and “,” which provides public employee salary information.

“Treasurer Chiang has always been a champion for transparency and accountability, in his fight against government fraud, waste and abuse,” said Jan Ross, deputy treasurer for Technology and Innovation. “Each of his technology initiatives provides the public with engaging, self-service access to formerly unobtainable data using a simple internet browser. DebtWatch is one more example of John Chiang moving the needle on citizen-to-government engagement.”

The breakthrough open data website launched in November 2015. It allows users to track 30 years’ worth of issued debt, cost of issuance, and bond and tax election results that are submitted to the Treasurer’s California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission.

“It became clear that we needed a more intuitive public tool that would provide greater context to the complex information the Treasurer’s Office has collected the past three decades,” said Mark Campbell, the commission’s executive director. “DebtWatch was a big step forward in fulfilling our responsibility as California’s debt issuance information clearinghouse. It has also unlocked our thinking about how we can better serve our state’s public finance community and contribute to the stewardship of California’s fiscal ecosystem.”

More than 62,000 users have visited DebtWatch since its launch.

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