ASUC releases financial data of top officials’ spending

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On Friday evening, the ASUC Office of the Chief Financial Officer released some internal financial information about ASUC leadership spending on a new website in an effort toward greater transparency.

Paul Cho, the ASUC CFO, said his office had been working on the project since the start of the semester. Created under the ASUC domain, the website includes information that was not previously released to the public.

The website includes the operating budgets as well as program and event money allocated to and managed by the ASUC senators, executive officers and appointed officials. A more detailed breakdown of how money in each category was spent is included in a downloadable spreadsheet on the website.

“A lot of students don’t see how that money is being spent,” Cho said. “It’s the same logic as with our administration: We pay tuition but we don’t know how that money is being spent.”

The ASUC’s yearly budget, including allocations to campus organizations, is available publicly on its website.

No ASUC bylaws require financial information to be published publicly, Cho said, but it was released with the full cooperation of all officers.

“My hope is that disclosing this information and this project reflects the extent of (what we spend) and students are ultimately more involved,” Cho said. “It’s to show that ASUC is with the students.”

The Office of the External Affairs Vice President, headed by André Luu, has the largest budget listed on the website at $107,000, while ASUC Senator Rosa Kwak has the smallest at $120.

“It was something I didn’t see two years ago when I was freshman,” Cho said, referring to this level of budget transparency by the ASUC.

Cho said his office hopes to later release an analysis comparing the ASUC’s budget to the operations of student governments at different UC campuses and a report on campus administration financial affairs compared to other private universities.

“Hopefully the next CFO will carry this out as a legacy,” Cho said. “It’s a first historical step moving onward to being financially transparent.”

Alexander Barreira is the university news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @abarreira_dc.

Clarification(s):
Clarification: A previous version of this article may have implied the ASUC website did not include details about how money was spent. In fact, descriptions of expenditures from officers’ budgets is included in an excel spreadsheet downloadable from the website.