Hamilton County To Post Spending Reports Online
The Ohio treasurer launched a website late last year listing all state spending. Josh Mandel is encouraging county and local governments to post their expenditures as well. He says at some point elected officials will have to participate.
“They’re going to start showing up at city council meetings and school board meetings and county commissioner meetings, and their constituents are going to be there," says Mandel. "And they’re going to be asking the question, ‘Why haven’t you posted your finances online? What do you have to hide?’”
Mandel says it cost $814,000 to set up OhioCheckbook.com. He says it was paid for with cost cutting from his office. He says it is free for local governments.
Mandel says the financial reports are vital for watchdog groups and others who track state spending.
“The information you will see with the Hamilton County government… is information that’s a matter of public record. But it does not include social security numbers, account numbers, or people’s names that are protected for obvious safety or security reasons.”
Mandel says a private company reviewed the site prior to its launch and made suggestions for tightening security against hackers and scammers.
Hamilton County is the sixth in the state to sign up.
OhioCheckbook went live last December. Hamilton County's numbers will be searchable in August.