“April 15th Project” to publish interactive, online databases
for 3,000 local governments within 100 days
Ohio Citizens Accounting Standards Board sponsors “OpenOhio.org” to make budgets,
payroll and checkbooks for all school districts, townships and cities and
villages available to public
COLUMBUS – Ohio’s leading government transparency organization announced today that it will publish by April 15, 2010, budgets, salaries and checkbooks for approximately 3,000 Ohio local governments.
“Transparency is a value that every politician and administrator claims to cherish but in fact fears,” said Michael Maurer, editor of OhioCASB.org. “The data that we are promising to publish within the next 100 days is all public record that has been kept in computerized form for something approaching 20 years and could be published by our government agencies tomorrow. But they have not done so, and so we will.”
Maurer said a nationwide movement to transparency is driven by the goal of making government expenditures and tax collections more efficient and more just to a free society of individual families and citizens.
“The ultimate goal of transparency is to create an environment in which any person of reasonable abilities is able to examine both the finances and the legality of government conduct,” Maurer said. “OpenOhio.org will serve to make available the information and data necessary to do so, through interactive online databases.”
Among those who have stated their support for the April 15th Project is the Ohio chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
“Transparency is crucial in giving citizens power to hold their elected officials accountable for being good stewards of tax dollars,” said Rebecca Heimlich, state director of AFP-OH.“Greater transparency leads to better government.”
Former state Rep. Tom Brinkman, sponsor of H.B. 420, Ohio’s major transparency law, which requires state agencies to maintain databases of state and federal grants, also supports the April 15th Project.
Chris Long, president of the Ohio Christian Alliance, said that Ohio families will benefit from better reporting of basic government data.
“If Ohio's citizens are to hold our elected officials accountable, it is imperative that we be able to understand exactly what our tax dollars are being used for at the local and state levels of government,” Long said. “We believe OhioOpen.Org will help lift the veil and empower citizens to better hold government in check through greater transparency.”
Maurer said that minimal financial transparency should include full internet access, using interactive databases, for budgets and expenditures.
Attachment of Actual Release Below