Pa. Supreme Court expands fiscal disclosure policy

By Jon Campisi | Nov 13, 2012

Pennsylvania’s high court has instituted a rules change that will allow for the posting

online of expenditure and personnel salary and compensation information.

In a Nov. 8 news release by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, the state Supreme Court announced that it has decided to expand its current fiscal disclosure policy by slightly changing Rule of Judicial Administration 509.

The change will expand the financial information available on the Unified Judicial System website to include annual appropriation, expenditure, personnel complement and annual compensation information for the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts, and for the AOPC itself.

The state judiciary in 2009 established a fiscal disclosure website that provides search, view and print options for summaries of the Unified Judicial System contracts and purchase orders of $5,000 or more.

Beginning Dec. 17, the UJS website will contain appropriation names, descriptions and annual funding amounts; expenditure data, including the name and address of the entity receiving payment, the actual payment amount, and the applicable appropriation and fiscal year; and employee complement information, including position, title and current annual salary, which will be updated on a monthly basis, along with a list of total compensation for the prior year.

Individual names will not be listed out of concern for employee security and respect for personal privacy, the AOPC news release states.

The release states that the expansion of the fiscal disclosure policy is consistent with the principles of the recently enacted PennWATCH Act, and balanced with the Supreme Court’s constitutional authority to independently administer the judicial branch.

PennWATCH is geared toward bolstering accountability and transparency by mandating the posting of state government expenditures and compensation electronically.

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