Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of Franklin County Local Government Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 820 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
GROVEPORT – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the City of Groveport, Village of Urbancrest, and Franklin Township’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 Groveport Finance Director Jeff Green, Groveport Senior Accountant Anna Krigbaum and Franklin Township Trustee Don Cook.
Groveport is the ninth city in Franklin County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, Urbancrest is the second village in Franklin County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, and Franklin Township is the sixth township in Franklin County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
- Groveport’s online checkbook includes over 29,000 individual transactions that represent more than $66 million of total spending over the past three years.
- Urbancrest’s online checkbook includes over 4,600 individual transactions that represent more than $3.4 million of total spending over the past three years.
- Franklin Township’s online checkbook includes over 4,600 individual transactions that represent more than $5.8 million of total spending over the past two Fiscal Years.
“I believe the people of Franklin 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 City of Groveport is excited to join OhioCheckbook.com,” said Finance Director Jeff Green. “We look forward to our citizens utilizing this interactive tool.”
“Franklin Township is excited to give its citizens this new tool to see how its government is spending their hard earned tax dollars,” said Trustee Don Cook. “We thank the Treasurer’s office and staff for providing this program free of cost and easy to implement!”
“I am grateful for the efforts of Mayor Barnes and the Urbancrest Village Council for their work to provide transparency of the village finances,” said State Representative Cheryl Grossman. “Their efforts are an outstanding example of government for the people, by the people.”
“I’m pleased to see the state of Ohio responding with accountability and transparency with taxpayer dollars through OhioCheckbook.com. I further applaud the Treasurer’s office for expanding these efforts into our communities,” said State Representative Heather Bishoff. “Congratulations to the city of Groveport for their fiduciary commitment to our community.”
“I applaud the Village of Urbancrest for putting their checkbook online,” said State Senator Jim Hughes. “The people of Ohio have a right to know how their money is being spent. They’ll now have access to that information through the leadership of Treasurer Mandel and the responsible elected officials of the Village of Urbancrest.”
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 September 12, 2016 there have been more than 618,000 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: