COLUMBUS — Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced the launch of the City of Clayton checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com. Also announced today is a partnership with the City of Brookville and the Ohio Treasurer’s office to post their spending online on OhioCheckbook.com.
Last year, 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.
With the launch of its online checkbook, taxpayers in Clayton are now able to view over 42,000 transactions that equal to more than $60.4 million of total spending over the past six years.
The City of Clayton and the City of Brookville are the third and fourth cities in Montgomery County to partner with the Treasurer’s office to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
“I believe the people of Montgomery County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with the Treasurer’s office to post their finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” said Treasurer Mandel. “By partnering and posting local government checkbooks, taxpayers across Ohio are empowered with a powerful tool to hold public officials accountable within their communities.”
“In addition to the documents we currently offer on our website (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Budget), the inclusion of the OhioCheckbook.com website gives our residents another avenue to review the financial activity of the City and see how we utilize their tax monies in providing services to them,” said Clayton Director of Finance Kevin Schweitzer.
“The City of Brookville is excited to take our transparency to the next level,” said Brookville Mayor David Seagraves, City Manager Gary Burkholder and Director of Finance Sonja Keaton in a combined statement. “The local site will provide information in an easily navigated format that helps our citizens understand how their tax dollars are being spent. We look forward to making Brookville more open and accessible.”
On April 7, 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 December 18, 2015 there have been more than 412,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $490 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 134 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, 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.