The State Controller is the Chief Fiscal Officer of California, the eighth largest economy in the world. Principally responsible for transparency and accountability of the state's financial resources, the Controller ensures the appropriate disbursement and tracking of taxpayer dollars. The Controller serves on dozens of state boards, commissions, and committees with duties ranging from administrative oversight of the nation's two largest public pension funds, to protection of state lands and coastlines, to modernization and financing of major infrastructure. The Controller also offers fiscal guidance to local government and has independent auditing authority over government agencies that spend state funds. The Controller's primary objectives are to:
- Account for and control disbursement of all state funds, issuing warrants in payment of the state's bills including lottery prizes.
- Determine legality and accuracy of financial claims against the state.
- Audit state and local government programs.
- Safeguard many types of assets until claimed by the rightful owners, in accordance with the Unclaimed Property Law.
- Inform the public of the state's financial condition.
- Inform the public of financial transactions of city, county, and other local governments.
- Administer the Uniform State Payroll System.
- Audit and process all personnel and payroll transactions for state civil service, state exempt employees, state university employees, and college system employees.