Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of the Village of Galena and Brown Township Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 590 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
GALENA – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the Village of Galena and Brown Township online checkbooks 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.
The Ohio Treasurer’s office was joined at today’s announcement by Village of Galena Mayor Thomas Hopper and Fiscal Officer Marty Mazzie. The Village of Galena is the third village in Delaware County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com and Brown Township is the third township in Delaware County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
- The Village of Galena’s online checkbook includes over 3,000 individual transactions that represent more than $1.3 million of total spending over the past three years.
- Brown Township’s online checkbook includes over 3,600 individual transactions that represent more than $1 million of total spending over the past four Fiscal Years.
“I believe the people of Delaware 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.”
“The Village of Galena is proud to join OhioCheckbook.com and be a transparency leader in Delaware County,” said Village of Galena Fiscal officer Marty Mazzie. “This initiative will provide greater access to information for our residents in an easy, navigable format.”
“OhioCheckbook.com will greatly benefit the citizens of Brown Township by putting our township’s financials at their fingertips 24/7,” said Brown Township Fiscal Officer Peggy Link. “I encourage all villages to join OhioCheckbook.com, which is a free, easy to implement tool that’s making our finances more accessible and efficient.”
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 March 15, 2016 there have been more than 484,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $512 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 139 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: