Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of the Greene County and Village of Jamestown Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 800 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
XENIA – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of Greene County and the Village of Jamestown’s 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 Greene County Auditor David Graham, County Commissioners Tom Koogler, Alan Anderson and Bob Glaser, Treasurer Dick Gould, County Administrator Brandon Huddleson, and State Representative Bill Dean.
Greene County is the 22nd county in Ohio to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, and Jamestown is the third village in Greene County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
- Greene County’s online checkbook includes over 95,000 individual transactions that represent more than $280 million of total spending over Fiscal Year 2016.
- Jamestown’s online checkbook includes over 13,500 individual transactions that represent more than $5.3 million of total spending over the past four years.
“I believe the people of Greene 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.”
“Greene County has always strived to utilize technology to efficiently manage our government,” said Auditor David Graham. “From posting financial reports online, to providing an interactive databases for license purchases, these convenient tools allow citizens to gain quicker access to information. OhioCheckbook.com will continue this trend by allowing our residents to see just where their tax dollars are being spent. I am proud to have Greene County join this initiative and look forward to using it to effectively communicate with our citizens.”
“I applaud the Greene County Commissioners for working with State Treasurer Mandel to make Greene County’s financial transactions easily accessible via OhioCheckbook.com,” said State Representative Bill Dean. “As a member of the State Government Committee, I am proud of the strong relationship between the State and Greene County. Through partnerships such as Ohio’s Checkbook, we use the power of technology to promote transparency of the people’s money in our local community.”
“I am delighted that Greene County is joining Treasurer Mandel’s initiative to make local and state government expenses transparent and accessible to all,” said State Representative Rick Perales. “OhioCheckbook.com is a great resource for citizens to see exactly where their tax dollars are going and to ensure that their government is accountable.”
“I have been working on this issue with my colleagues since the beginning because it is the right thing to do,” said State Senator Bob Hackett. “I applaud all of those in Greene County who worked on this and am excited to see it finally happening.”
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 August 31, 2016 there have been more than 612,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $540 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 148 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: