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Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and South Carolina Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. Announce Launch of SC ABLE for Individuals with Disabilities
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5/26/2016

Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of the Hancock County and City of Fostoria Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com

Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 700 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com

Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office


FINDLAY – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the Hancock County and City of Fostoria 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 government transparency ranking in the country for a second year in a row.  

The Ohio Treasurer’s office was joined at today’s announcement by Hancock County Auditor Charity Rauschenberg and City of Fostoria Auditor Steven Garner.  Hancock County is the 18th county in the state to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.  Fostoria is the first city in Hancock, Seneca and Wood Counties to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.

The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
  • Hancock County’s online checkbook includes over 22,000 individual transactions that represent more than $66 million of total spending over the Fiscal Year 2015.    
  • Fostoria’s online checkbook includes over 2,700 individual transactions that represent more than $4 million of total spending over Fiscal Year 2016.    
“I believe the people of Hancock, Seneca and Wood Counties 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.” 

“Hancock County is proud to join OhioCheckbook.com and provide our citizens with access to our expenditures,” said Auditor Charity Rauschenberg.  “We thank Treasurer Mandel for his leadership in Transparency and for providing this opportunity and assistance.”

“Fostoria is committed to efficiently and effectively share with our residents where their taxpayer dollars are going through OhioCheckbook.com,” said Auditor Steven Garner.   “This initiative is a wonderful tool for citizens to be informed about our City’s spending and to ensure accountability in spending. We are proud of the work we do for the people of Fostoria and are happy to take additional steps to demonstrate our commitment.”

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 May 24, 2016 there have been more than 543,000 total searches on the site.  

OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $517 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 142 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.

In April 2016, U.S. PIRG announced that Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second consecutive year in a row.  Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio again received the highest perfect score of 100 points this year – marking the second time in two years Ohio received the highest possible 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:
  • HancockCounty.OhioCheckbook.com;
  • Fostoria.OhioCheckbook.com. 

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