We Participate in “Ohio Checkbook” Program
As part of its continuing effort to be as transparent as possible, our District collaborated with the State of Ohio Treasurer’s Office to locally implement its Ohio Checkbook program. We are excited to take part in this statewide effort for financial transparency at all levels of government. Financial information about the District is at our customers’ and others’ fingertips 24/7/365 in an interactive format. All are now able to view how the District’s resources are spent and to judge for themselves our commitment to efficient utilization of customer payments.
Starting back in 2014 with the launch of OhioCheckbook.gov, the Treasurer of Ohio has been giving taxpayers unprecedented access to see how their hard earned tax dollars are being spent.
Today, at the state level, the site displays more than half-trillion dollars of checkbook-level spending over the last eight fiscal years − since fiscal year 2008 − everything from two bucks for a pack of pencils to millions of dollars for road construction projects.
For the first time in Ohio history, citizens can now pull up their Smartphone or personal computer and within seconds search any state agency or vendor to see how their hard-earned money is being spent.
Empowering Citizen Watchdogs
This initiative is all about power to the people. OhioCheckbook.gov is empowering an army of citizen watchdogs to help hold their elected officials accountable. That means the people are going to get better decisions and a more efficient government. Maybe instead of going to the conference in Hawaii, public employees go to the conference in Cincinnati. Instead of staying at the Ritz Carlton, they stay at the Holiday Inn. And maybe instead of just renewing contracts with the same vendors they’ve used for 20 years, they can leverage technology to see if they can get a better deal for local taxpayers.
OhioCheckbook.gov took our state’s transparency ranking from near worst – 46th out of 50 states – to now being ranked #1 in the country. Ohio is recognized as a national leader in government transparency.
Local Race to Transparency
In our state, there are 3,962 local government entities – including schools, counties, cities, townships, villages, libraries, and special districts. Last year, OhioCheckbook.gov was able to host local checkbooks from all of these entities, and Treasurer of Ohio’s office started reaching out to local elected officials asking if they would be interested in being among the first in the state to partner and open their spending to the public.