Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Partnership with Clinton County as First Entity in Clinton County to Post Checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Builds for Statewide Government Transparency as OhioCheckbook.com Surpasses 249,000 Searches in the First Seven Months
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
WILMINGTON – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel stood today with Clinton County officials and announced a partnership between the Ohio Treasurer’s office and the first local government in Clinton County to place their spending online at OhioCheckbook.com. Last year, 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 ranking in the country for government transparency.
Treasurer Mandel was joined at today’s announcement by Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Cliff Rosenberger (District – 91), Clinton County Auditor Terry Habermehl and Clinton County Commissioners Patrick Haley, Kerry Steed and Mike Curry. Clinton County is the first local government in Clinton County to partner with OhioCheckbook.com. Clinton County is also the ninth county in Ohio and second county in Southwest Ohio to announce a partnership with the Treasurer’s office to place their spending online.
On April 7th, 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.
“I believe the people of Clinton County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with the Treasurer’s office to post their 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.”
“I’m proud to see that Clinton County shares my commitment to transparency and an open government. Through initiatives like OhioCheckbook.com, local governments in Ohio can be held more accountable to taxpayers,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “I’m glad I was able to join with Clinton County’s community leaders and Treasurer Mandel today in sharing about this unique site and I look forward to seeing how it strengthens financial communication between the county and its citizens.”
“I would like to thank Treasurer Mandel for his leadership in highlighting the importance of transparency in Ohio government through the Ohio Checkbook program. I also applaud his willingness to make the program available to all levels of government in Ohio at no cost to them,” said Clinton County Auditor Terry Habermehl. “When I ran for office four years ago, I talked about the importance of transparency and accountability in government. All of the changes made in the Auditor’s office over the last four years have been an effort to make the county’s finances more transparent for our citizens. Ohio Checkbook provides this transparency, and I am excited that Clinton County was chosen to participate in the initial phase of the program.”
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 July 2, 2015, there have been more than 249,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $408 billion in spending over the past seven years, including more than 112 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, 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.
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.
For more information visit OhioCheckbook.com.