An initiative by State Treasurer Josh Mandel to put local government spending information online, like his office does now for state government expenditures, is supported by the Ohio Chamber. The program to be set up by Treasurer Mandel would take information that is already on public record, along with data and other information voluntarily provided by local governments, and make it accessible, searchable and navigable. This would be done on the treasurer’s website through OhioCheckbook.com.
The plan was outlined at a press conference on April 7 with representatives from various cities, counties, townships and school districts and State Auditor Dave Yost, as well as business representatives, including the Ohio Chamber. Treasurer Mandel invited the state’s 3,962 local government offices to post their checkbook information online, at no cost to them.
The vision is to facilitate searches of spending for such things as travel, food, services, sick leave, and construction-related expenses, among other items. “We believe this is the first time in the history of the state of Ohio, and also anywhere nationally, where local governments at all levels will in one place be able to post their information for taxpayers to be able to see it,” said Treasurer Mandel. The Ohio Chamber hopes that the end result of this local government spending information initiative will enable Ohio business taxpayers to hold public officials more accountable and have their offices operate more transparently.