Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of Cuyahoga County Checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com
Cuyahoga County Becomes the Largest County in the State to Join the Treasurer’s Transparency Initiative
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
CLEVELAND – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today with Cuyahoga County leaders the launch of the Cuyahoga County 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 ranking in the country for government transparency.
Cuyahoga County’s online checkbook includes over 109,000 individual transactions that represent more than $1.1 billion of total spending over the past fiscal year. Cuyahoga County is the largest county in Ohio to partner with the Treasurer’s office to post their spending online on OhioCheckbook.com.
“I believe the people of Cuyahoga 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.”
“As part of my focus on Government That Gets Results, we are proud to open our finances to the public in a comprehensive fashion,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “We believe in making government as open and accessible as possible.”
“Transparency and accountability are two standards of good government,” stated Cuyahoga County Councilmember and Chair of the Finance and Budgeting Committee Chair, Dave Greenspan. “Our County’s participation in the program further demonstrates this government’s commitment to responsive and responsible representation. I’m encouraged that County Executive Budish is continuing to explore new and innovative practices to further demonstrate that Cuyahoga County is operating in an ethical and open manner.”
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 January 28, 2016 there have been more than 445,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $506 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 137 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.
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 http://cuyahogacounty.ohiocheckbook.com.