(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Treasurer Robert Sprague today announced a new joint initiative to ensure OhioCheckbook.com remains a valued resource for taxpayers for years to come. Under the proposal, day-to-day management of OhioCheckbook.com will be administered in collaboration between the Ohio Treasurer’s office and the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) with the support of the Office of Information Technology (OIT).
“One of the quickest pathways to success is to find ways to collaborate and work with others so you can win together, and today’s partnership between our administration and Treasurer Sprague is a real win for Ohio taxpayers,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Not only will this partnership provide better services at a lower cost, it will strengthen our commitment to transparency with both the media and the public.”
Since its launch in 2014, management of OhioCheckbook.com has resided solely within the Treasurer’s office. By expanding the oversight and management of the online transparency tool, this new partnership will create new efficiencies and cost savings through its utilization of the State of Ohio’s data management systems.
“The Ohio Checkbook empowers taxpayers and local governments by putting transparency at their fingertips,” said Treasurer Sprague. “The Treasurer’s office is committed to growing OhioCheckbook.com into the future and ensuring it’s as cutting-edge as ever before. By partnering with InnovateOhio and the Office of Budget and Management, we’re making sure OhioCheckbook.com remains an accessible and valued resource for years to come.”
The state expenditure data provided by OhioCheckbook.com are also provided by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) through their Interactive Budget website. The Interactive Budget also includes detailed state revenue data in real time. OhioCheckbook.com has the added ability to present expenditure data from participating local governments.
By combining efforts and resources, administration officials and the Treasurer’s office anticipate annual cost savings of approximately $900,000 per year, once fully implemented. Additionally, state spending data featured on OhioCheckbook.com will be merged and aligned with the existing Ohio Interactive Budget website offered by OBM. The OBM website allows for real-time reporting of state expenditures, and the merging of these two systems will eliminate duplication and bolster overall efficiencies.
“The OBM Interactive Budget architecture is directly linked to the state accounting system using our suite of analytics tools,” said OBM Director Kim Murnieks. “It allows for real-time reporting of state revenues and expenditures, and I am thrilled that the merging of these two systems will preserve the best features of each site, while saving staff time and taxpayer dollars.”
Today’s announcement also drew support from State Rep. Dave Greenspan (R – Westlake), who earlier this year introduced House Bill 46, a measure that aims to codify OhioCheckbook.com to ensure its utilization by future officeholders.
“Making government more accessible and transparent for Ohioans has been a long-standing goal of mine, first as a county councilman and now as a state legislator,” said Rep. Greenspan. “I am excited to see this agreement reached after many years of hard work and thoughtful discussion.”
Upon its launch, OhioCheckbook.com became the first resource aiming to make all state spending information available online. Five years later, the website continues to garner the interest of those hoping to learn more about how Ohio’s tax dollars are spent. Today there are more than 1,150 local government entities on OhioCheckbook.com, with more than 50 new entities coming onboard since January of this year.
The new Ohio Checkbook will be maintained on the InnovateOhio Platform.
House Bill 46 is currently pending before the Ohio Senate.