Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of the Ohio University Checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com
Ohio University Posts Largest Amount of Checkbook Level Spending Online of Any Public University in State
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
ATHENS – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis announced today the launch of Ohio University’s online checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com. With today’s announcement, Ohio University joins Bowling Green State University, Central State University and the Central Ohio Technical College in posting their checkbook level expenditures online.
In December 2014, Treasurer Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com, which sets a new national standard for government transparency and for the first time in Ohio history puts all state spending information on the internet. OhioCheckbook.com recently earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second year in a row.
In May 2016, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, Miami University, Ohio University and Wright State University formally agreed to partner with the Treasurer’s office to post their checkbook level expenditures online at OhioCheckbook.com.
Ohio University’s online checkbook includes over 172,000 individual transactions, representing over $490 million in spending over Fiscal Year 2015.
“I believe the taxpayers of Ohio have a right to know how their tax money is being spent, and I applaud Ohio University for partnering with my office to post the finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” said Treasurer Mandel. “My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable.”
“Ohio University is glad to be a part of Treasurer Mandel’s efforts to bring greater accessibility and transparency to public spending in the State of Ohio,” added Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “We are committed to being a part of OhioCheckbook.com and look forward to any collaborative efforts in support of ensuring the public trust.”
On April 7, 2015 Treasurer Mandel sent a letter to 18,062 local government and school officials representing 3,962 local governments throughout the state calling on them to place their checkbook level data on OhioCheckbook.com and extending an invitation to partner with his office at no cost to local governments. These local governments include cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts and other special districts.
A large coalition of statewide and local government organizations have expressed support for OhioCheckbook.com and local government transparency, including:
• Ohio Municipal League
• Ohio Township Association
• Ohio Association of School Business Officials
• Buckeye Association of School Administrators
• County Commissioner Association of Ohio
• County Auditor Association of Ohio
• Ohio Newspaper Association
• Ohio Society of CPAs
• Buckeye Institute
• Common Cause Ohio
OhioCheckbook.com was launched on December 2, 2014, marking the first time in Ohio history when citizens could actually see every expenditure in state government. Since its launch, OhioCheckbook.com has received overwhelming support from newspapers and groups across the state and, as of September 10, 2017 there have been more than 821,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $608 billion in spending over the past nine years, including more than 166 million transactions. The website includes cutting-edge features such as:
• “Google-style” contextual search capabilities, to allow users to sort by keyword, department, category or vendor;
• Fully dynamic interactive charts to drill down on state spending;
• Functionality to compare state spending year-over-year or among agencies; and,
• Capability to share charts or checks with social media networks, and direct contact for agency fiscal offices.
In March 2015, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) released their annual “Following the Money 2015” report and Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one transparency ranking in the country for providing online access to government spending data. Ohio was prominently featured in the report after climbing from 46th to 1st in spending transparency as a result of Treasurer Mandel’s release of OhioCheckbook.com. Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio received a perfect score of 100 points this year – the highest score in the history of the U.S. PIRG transparency rankings.
In April 2016, U.S. PIRG announced that Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second consecutive year in a row. Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio again received the highest perfect score of 100 points this year – marking the second time in two years Ohio received the highest possible score in the history of the U.S. PIRG transparency rankings.
The Treasurer’s office is partnering with OpenGov, a leading Silicon Valley government technology company, to provide residents of Ohio the ability to view and search local government expenditures in a user-friendly, digital format. “Ohio is setting the standard for financial transparency on an unprecedented scale. We are excited to partner with the Treasurer’s office to bring world-class technology to communities large and small across the state,” said Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov.
Ohio University strives to be the best student-centered, transformative learning community in America, where students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders. With a residential campus in Athens, additional campuses and centers across the state, and online programs, we educate more than 40,000 students annually. Visit www.ohio.edu for more information.
For more information you may visit OhioCheckbook.com or visit Ohio University’s online checkbook at OhioUniversity.OhioCheckbook.com.