Ohio Ranks Best in Government Spending Transparency
April 9, 2015
Ohio is tops in the country when it comes to transparency in government spending, says the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), who ranked Ohio 46th just a year ago. Ohio's new rank marked the largest single improvement since the group began ranking states in 2009.
What led Ohio to receive a perfect rating? According to U.S. PIRG senior analyst Phineas Baxandall, much of their improvement is a result of Treasurer Josh Mandel's office unveiling OhioCheckBook.com, which tracks spending by all government agencies in the state. Mandel's website is still a work in progress, but it has already seen 130,000 searches and has some 112 million transactions going back to fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2014.
In recent years, Ohio has been underperforming. Consider:
- Last year Ohio was received 46 points, earning it a D- rating.
- They earned a B+ in 2010, but fell behind because it did not improve transparency.
Mandel plans to maintain Ohio's ranking by putting the checkbooks of local governments online as well. He said he hopes to find a way for his office to "host and post" the data for local governments at no cost to them.
Source: Maria DeVito, "Ohio Ranked No. 1 in Nation for Transparency in Government Spending," The Columbus Dispatch, March 18, 2015
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