Treasurer Josh Mandel Celebrates National Sunshine Week
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
COLUMBUS – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is proud to celebrate National Sunshine Week, a national initiative designed to highlight the importance of freedom of information and open government.
As part of Treasurer Mandel’s mission to create a more open and transparent government, Treasurer Mandel launched the Treasurer’s Transparency Project in 2011.
“My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold politicians accountable,” said Treasurer Mandel. “Taxpayers have a right to know how their hard earned money is being spent and I am proud to spearhead the effort to increase transparency across Ohio.”
Initiatives of the Treasurer’s Transparency Project include:
- OhioCheckbook.com – A first-of-its-kind website that places Ohio’s expenditures online for the first time in Ohio history. OhioCheckbook.com sets a new national transparency standard by not just displaying checkbook-level spending data, but also providing taxpayers with fully interactive tools and an unprecedented level of context. OhioCheckbook.com displays over $512 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 139 million transactions. OhioCheckbook.com recently earned Ohio the number one ranking in government spending transparency by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, earning a perfect score of 100 for access to online expenditures.
- OhioCheckbook.com: Local Governments and Schools – Treasurer Mandel recently 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. Since that invitation, over 585 local governments and schools have partnered with the Treasurer’s office to post their spending online. To date, these local transparency sites represent over 11 million individual transactions equaling to more than $31 billion local expenditures.
- State Salary Database – A fully searchable salary database containing information on state workers, teachers and local education employees.
- Interactive State Properties Map – A fully interactive “Google Earth” style map that leverages statewide imaging and mapping software to make detailed information about state owned properties and buildings available to all Ohioans. Since digitizing the state properties database, taxpayers can now provide feedback on properties that may be underutilized or surplus so the state can sell them or put them to better use.
- County Investments – A single website that contains monthly county investment advisory committee reports so taxpayers can easily view how their money is being invested locally.
- Archived Annual Reports – A collaborative partnership with the State Library of Ohio to present an online compilation of Annual Reports published by the Treasurer’s office since the early 1800’s. The Treasurer’s office is the first statewide agency to partner with the State Library of Ohio to facilitate the digitization and preservation of an entire collection of printed reports allowing Ohioans to follow their money like never before.
Founded by the American Society of News Editors, National Sunshine Week occurs each year in mid-March, designed to coincide with National Freedom of Information Day and the anniversary of James Madison’s birthday, who is viewed as a champion of open government. Participants include news media, nonprofits, schools, governments and other civic groups.
For more information on Treasurer Mandel’s Transparency Project please visit www.OhioTreasurer.gov.