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Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of the Miami University Checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com
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9/19/2017

Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of the Summit Educational Service Center Checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com

Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 1,220 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com

Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office


CUYAHOGA FALLS– Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the Summit Educational Service Center’s online checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com.  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.    

The Ohio Treasurer’s office was joined at the announcement by Summit Educational Service Center (ESC) Treasurer Sondra Clevenger.  The Summit ESC is the fifth educational service center in the state to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com  The Summit ESC’s online checkbook includes over 51,000 individual transactions that represent more than $63 million of total spending over the past four Fiscal Years.             

“I believe the people of Summit County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent, and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with my office to post the finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” said Treasurer Mandel.  “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”

“Summit County Educational Service Center is proud to join the growing list of Ohio communities by placing our spending on the Treasurer of State’s transparency portal, OhioCheckbook.com,” said Treasurer Sondra Clevenger.  “We thank Treasurer Mandel for this free and easy to use tool to help educate and communicate to citizens on how governments, and especially school districts, spend tax dollars. As the fifth ESC to publish this information in the entire state, we are pleased to be on the leading front of educational service centers.”

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 18, 2017 there have been more than 824,000 total searches on the site.  

OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $608 billion in spending over the past ten 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.

For more information or to view your local government website, visit the Local Government option on OhioCheckbook.com or click on SummitEducational.OhioCheckbook.com. 

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