Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the City of Reynoldsburg, Reynoldsburg City Schools, Grandview Heights City Schools and the Norwich 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 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 City of Reynoldsburg Auditor Richard Harris, Council President Doug Joseph, Councilmember Barth Cotner and Law Director Jed Hood.
Reynoldsburg is the eighth city in Franklin County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, Reynoldsburg City Schools and Grandview Heights City Schools are the eighth and ninth school districts in Franklin County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, and Norwich Township is the fifth township in Franklin County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
- Reynoldsburg’s online checkbook includes over 8,500 individual transactions that represent more than $28.9 million of total spending over Fiscal Year 2015.
- Reynoldsburg City Schools’ online checkbook includes over 47,000 individual transactions that represent more than $95 million of total spending over the past two Fiscal Years.
- Grandview Heights City Schools’ online checkbook includes over 31,000 individual transactions that represent more than $40 million of total spending over the past two Fiscal Years.
- Norwich Township’s online checkbook includes over 8,700 individual transactions that represent more than $44 million of total spending over the past four 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.”
“Reynoldsburg City Schools is committed to providing the best education for its students while utilizing various means of communication with its residents,” said Reynoldsburg City Schools Treasurer Tammy Miller. “By joining OhioCheckbook.com, the taxpayers of the district will have greater access into how their money is being spent, and we are excited to provide this transparency to our community.”
“In an effort to continue to be transparent with our community, Grandview Heights Schools has enrolled in OhioCheckbook.com,” said Grandview Heights School Treasurer Beth Collier. “We believe it is imperative that we share information with our taxpayers and we welcome this tool to better communicate with our residents. With the majority of our funding coming from local public tax dollars, we are always mindful of being good stewards of those funds when it comes to making decisions on spending. OhioCheckbook.com is another way we can show the community we have the best of intentions when it comes to our spending and ensuring we maximize our funds for the education of our students.”
“Norwich Township is proud to join the transparency initiative and place our expenses online for our residents and business owners to understand how their money is spent,” said Norwich Township Administrator Jamie Fisher.
“I'm pleased to see the state of Ohio responding with accountability and transparency with taxpayer dollars through the OhioCheckbook.com,” said State Representative Heather Bishoff. “I further applaud the Treasurer's office for expanding these efforts into our communities. Congratulations to the city of Reynoldsburg as well as Reynoldsburg schools for their fiduciary commitment to our community.”
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 16, 2016 there have been more than 600,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $534 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 147 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:
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