Orange Township is the latest government organization in Delaware County to put its spending information on the Internet.
The township’s “online checkbook” is now on the website OhioCheckbook.com officials, said on Thursday.
More than 8,000 transactions representing more than $23 million of total spending over the last two years can be accessed from the site. Individual transactions, including checks, can be viewed. In addition, spending totals can be viewed as bar graphs, pie charts and in other formats.
“If there are public records requests, people can be referred to this site,” said Lindsey Kerr, spokeswoman for Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, during a demonstration in the Orange Township Hall. “We want to get people online.”
So far, there have been more than 458,000 searches on the site.
In 2014, Mandel launched the website. Later, he sent letters to all 3,962 local governments throughout the state, calling on them to place their data on OhioCheckbook.com for transparency. The launch of the website helped Ohio jump from the 46th state in the nation in transparency to the top ranking for providing online access to government spending data, according the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s “Following the Money 2015” report.
“By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable,” Mandel said in a press release.
To date, 209 governments have placed their data on the site, with spending information ranging from one to eight years. There are 514 other local governments who have committed to get on the site, Kerr said.
Orange is the second township in Delaware County to join the website after Liberty. Also on OhioCheckbook.com is Delaware County, the city of Delaware, the village of Shawnee Hills and the village of Sunbury. Kerr said the village of Galena and Berlin and Brown townships are among the local governments who are committed to put their information on the site.
“I believe the people of Delaware County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent, and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with my office to post the finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” said Mandel.
“Orange Township is dedicated to being fiscally responsible,” said township fiscal officer Joel Spitzer. “The township’s partnership with the State Treasurer’s Office will allow our residents to see where their tax dollars are going in a searchable and intuitive format.”
Lindsey Kerr, spokeswoman for Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, demonstrates the Orange Township online checkbook at the township hall on Thursday.