Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Partnership with Liberty Township as First Entity in Butler County to Post Checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel stood today with Liberty Township officials and announced a partnership between the Ohio Treasurer’s office and the first local government in Butler 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 State Senator Bill Coley (District – 4), Liberty Township Fiscal Officer Pam Quinlisk and Liberty Township Trustees David Kern, Thomas Farrell and Christine Matacic. Liberty Township is the first entity in Butler County to partner with OhioCheckbook.com. Liberty Township is also the fifth township in Ohio and third township 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 Butler 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 am so proud that my home township is one of the first entities in the state to join our State Treasurer Josh Mandel in this move towards a government that is transparent,” said State Senator Bill Coley (District – 4).
“As the Fiscal Officer for the Township, I applaud the efforts of the State to bring this level of transparency to the taxpayers,” said Fiscal Officer Pam Quinlisk. “It really is like viewing your own checkbook online – easy to use and understand.”
“We’re honored that Liberty Township was selected to be one of the 80 communities piloting this program,” said Liberty Township Board of Trustees President David Kern. “We’ve got a lot of pride in the conservative nature of the Township, our audit history and the way we’ve handled our financial records. This is another accolade for our great finance team and a super way to provide transparency to our residents.”
“For those of us working in local government, I like the accountability the online checkbook places on communities,” said Liberty Township Board of Trustees Vice President Thomas Farrell. “And the level of detail available is great – it’s a very user friendly and informative tool. I commend the Treasurer’s Office for being one of the first in the country to offer something like this to Ohio taxpayers.”
“The State of Ohio has invested in a fantastic tool to help people understand how their tax dollars are spent,” said Liberty Township Trustee Christine Matacic. “It’s nice to give our taxpayers increased accessibility to this information. It can only help to empower people which I believe is a great benefit to creating a transparent environment.”
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.