COLUMBUS — Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and Ohio Auditor Dave Yost recently announced the partnership between OhioCheckbook.com and the Auditor’s Uniform Accounting Network (UAN). The website, accessed at UANlink.OhioAuditor.gov, now offers a “one-stop shop” where local governments utilizing UAN can submit their year-end financial reports and checkbook level spending information needed to join OhioCheckbook.com in a quick, easy and convenient process.
Created by the Auditor’s office, the Uniform Accounting Network (UAN) is a user-friendly financial management package designed to assist local governments in meeting the required accounting standards. Over 1,900 of Ohio’s townships, villages, libraries and special districts use UAN for their daily accounting operations. Over 330 of these local governments are currently committed to posting their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
Joining Treasurer Mandel and Auditor Yost to make the announcement were Goshen Township Fiscal Officer Brittany Koepke (Clermont County), Village of South Zanesville Fiscal Officer Chris Kerby (Muskingum County), and Village of West Jefferson Fiscal Officer Debbie Dileo (Madison County).
This partnership now gives local governments utilizing UAN the option to upload their year-end financial statements required by the Auditor’s office while also submitting the files needed to join OhioCheckbook.com. Local governments simply need to select the option to join OhioCheckbook.com and choose the years of data they wish to upload.
“I believe the people of Ohio have a right to know how their tax money is being spent,” said Treasurer Mandel. “By partnering with the Auditor’s office, we’ve made it even easier for many local governments across Ohio to manage their finances and shine sunlight on spending decisions with only a few clicks of the mouse.”
“The Auditor of State’s Office and Office of the Ohio Treasurer both have a well-established tradition of promoting transparency in Ohio’s governments,” Auditor Yost said. “This partnership will make it even easier for local governments to assure taxpayers their dollars are spent properly.”
“By joining together, the Treasurer’s office and the Auditor’s office have made it even easier for UAN users like us to be as transparent as possible with our constituents,” said Goshen Township Fiscal Officer Brittany Koepke. “There is really no excuse not to utilize this simple and convenient option.”
“The Treasurer’s office and the Auditor’s office continually show their commitment to government transparency, and have built an even easier tool to help Ohio’s local communities demonstrate complete transparency with their constituents,” said Village of South Zanesville Fiscal Officer Chris Kerby.
“The Village of West Jefferson is very pleased to be participating in OhioCheckbook.com,” said West Jefferson fiscal officer Debbie Dileo. “It is a simple way for us to inform our residents about the use of their local tax dollars, and will now be even easier with the annual reporting mechanism.”
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.
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
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 17, 2016 there have been more than 601,000 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.
Published: August 18, 2016
Source: Treasurer Josh Mandel and Auditor Dave Yost announce OhioCheckbook.com integration with local government accounting portal