Treasurer Josh Mandel Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary of OhioCheckbook.com
First-of-its-Kind Transparency Initiative Continues to Gain Momentum and Spark National Transparency Trend Since 2014 Launch
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
COLUMBUS – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel celebrated today the three-year anniversary of 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 now displays more than $621 billion in spending over the past ten years, including more than 168 million transactions.
Since its launch on December 2, 2014, OhioCheckbook.com continues to gain momentum across Ohio, with more local governments and schools partnering with the Treasurer’s office to post their spending online each week. In addition, Treasurer Mandel’s race for greater transparency has garnered national attention and sparked a regional trend, with several other states launching their own initiatives to increase transparency and shine sunlight on government spending.
OhioCheckbook.com continues to reach new milestones since its launch in 2014. Some of these include:
• New National Standard: 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. In April 2016, U.S. PIRG announced that Treasurer Mandel again earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country. This marked the second time in two years Ohio received the highest possible score in the history of the U.S. PIRG rankings.
• Local Governments and Schools Surpass 1,000: In March 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 extended an invitation to partner with his office at no cost. Since that invitation, over 1,250 local governments and schools have committed to posting their spending online at OhioCheckbook.com. Taxpayers can now see over $91 billion in local government spending information, including more than 37 million individual transactions.
• All 88 Ohio Counties Represented: Each of Ohio’s 88 counties now have local governments who have posted their spending on OhioCheckbook.com. From small villages to large counties and school districts, OhioCheckbook.com reaches every corner of Ohio.
• Public Universities: At the invitation of Treasurer Mandel, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, Ohio University and the Central Ohio Technical College posted their checkbooks online at OhioCheckbook.com. This occasion marked the first time in Ohio history taxpayers are able to follow their money at the university level.
• Public Pension Funds: In September 2016, Treasurer Mandel expanded OhioCheckbook.com to include Ohio’s five statewide public pension funds. With this historic announcement, Ohio became the first state in the country to have all statewide public pension funds’ expenditures online.
• UAN Partnership: In August 2016, Treasurer Mandel and Ohio Auditor Dave Yost announced a partnership between OhioCheckbook.com and the Auditor’s Uniform Accounting Network (UAN) that makes it even easier for over half of Ohio’s local governments to join OhioCheckbook.com in a quick, easy and convenient process.
• Mobile App: In November 2016, Treasurer Mandel announced a new national transparency partnership with Open The Books that includes the posting of salary information for over 2,000 local governments and schools and the creation of a new OhioCheckbook Mobile App. This app, available for free on iTunes and Android stores, allows taxpayers to search spending and salary information from the convenience of their smart phone and tablets.
Since its launch, OhioCheckbook.com has received overwhelming support from newspapers and groups across the state and, as of December 1, 2017 there have been more than 865,000 total searches on the site.
For more information, visit OhioCheckbook.com.