Mandel makes Ohio spending an open book

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is apparently living up to a promise he made to voters and taxpayers during his first term in office by giving them more access to how the state spends taxpayer money.

Mandel, a Republican, made a stop at our news studio Tuesday morning to show how the new works. For the first time, information on more than $400 million in state spending, dating as far back as 2008, can be found on the Treasurer’s office website.

“I think the best way to empower the people, to hold politicians accountable, is to show them the money, to actually show every single penny the state spends. From $2 for a pack of pencils to millions of dollars for road contracts,” Mandel said.

He said people can look up information on more than 100 million transactions, right down to the check numbers and amounts, using a system that is similar to Google.

“So what we are trying to do here is leverage technology, to make public information more accessible to the people, and to really give power to the people to hold the public officials accountable for state spending,” Mandel said.

Mandel said he is hoping local municipal and county governments will use this idea to make their own spending practices more accessible to the public.

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