The state of Ohio announced Tuesday a groundbreaking project whereby all checks issued by all local governments could be viewed in an online database.
In a press release Tuesday, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican, said he sent a letter to 18,062 officials representing 3,962 local governments throughout the Buckeye State encouraging them to take part in OhioCheckBook.com, a new fiscal accountability online tool.
“Ohioans have a right to see how their tax money is being spent at every level of government,” Mandel said. “I am calling on cities, counties, townships and schools to open the books and post their checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com. My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable.”
Advertisement - story continues below
The first of its kind in the nation, these are the features of the site according to Mandel’s office:
- “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.
According to the FAQ section on OhioCheckBook.com, the site “is designed to make government more open and accountable to taxpayers by allowing Ohioans to follow their tax dollars and see how public money is being spent.”
The goal of this project is to shine a light on the true costs of government, so that taxpayers and their elected representatives can make more informed decisions on state spending.
In addition to Ohio’s Online Checkbook, the Treasurer’s office has also put online a Government Employee Salary Database, Interactive State Property Map, County Investment Reports, and the Daily Ledger Report of State Funds.
h/t: The Daily Caller