Treasurer Josh Mandel Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary of OhioCheckbook.com
First-of-its-Kind Transparency Project Gains National Attention, Statewide Support Since 2014 Launch
COLUMBUS – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel celebrated today the two-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 $564 billion in spending over the past nine years, including more than 153 million transactions.
Since its launch on December 2, 2014, OhioCheckbook.com has gained national attention, expanded across Ohio, and seen many first-of-its kind successes. 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: 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 extended an invitation to partner with his office at no cost. Since that invitation, over 960 local governments and schools have committed to posting their spending online at OhioCheckbook.com.
- Public Universities: At the invitation of Treasurer Mandel, on May 10, 2016, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, Miami University, Ohio University and Wright State University become the first public universities in the state to commit to posting their checkbook level expenditures online, marking the first time in history taxpayers will be able to follow their money at the university level.
- Public Pension Funds: On September 13, 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: On August 18, 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: Most recently, on November 28, 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, 2016 there have been more than 670,000 total searches on the site.
For more information, visit OhioCheckbook.com.