OhioCheckbook Project Worthwhile

Many taxpayers would love to have access to details — check by check — on how local officials are spending their money. If you live in Jefferson County, congratulations — the information is at your fingertips, literally.

In 2014, the Ohio treasurer’s office launched an online program called OhioCheckbook.com. It enables Buckeye State residents to obtain details of local government financial transactions.

Jefferson County government has joined the program, it was announced this week. According to state Treasurer Robert Sprague, online records detail more than 25,000 financial transactions by county government just this year. Those transactions accounted for more than $147.2 million in spending.

Using the program is simple. Just go to OhioCheckbook.com and follow the instructions.

A few East Ohio municipalities, townships, counties and school districts have signed up for the program — but most have not. In fairness, it needs to be noted that participating requires some expenditure and some effort on county officials’ part.

But in terms of real transparency, there is nothing like the initiative. It allows the public to view each and every expenditure made by a local government entity — and to ask questions about it. Other East Ohio officials should be looking into OhioCheckbook.com as a means of being accountable to taxpayers.

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