100-plus local governments respond to Josh Mandel's invitation to post checkbooks online

From The Plain Dealer In the week since they were mailed invitations, more than 100 local governments have expressed interest in posting their checkbooks in a public online database through the Ohio treasurer's office.

One large county, Mahoning County in Northeast Ohio, has formalized its intentions in a partnership with the treasurer's office.

In December, the state's checkbook became searchable online through OhioCheckbook.com. The database contains more than 112 million transactions by state agencies and boards over the past seven years, through June 2014. Expenditures can be searched by agency, vendor or keyword with comparisons to past years as well as other agencies and departments.

That effort drew praise from outside public interest advocates. The database ranked No. 1 among state spending databases in 2014 in the U.S. Public Interest Research Group's annual "Following the Money" report in March.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel touted the idea to promote government transparency. He also has said that shining light on public expenditures likely will also promote more restrained government, one of his personal goals.

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