Ohio House Bill 3 Legislation Review

By Sean Roberts and Frank Kohstall 25 Jan 2018

‘This bill will recognizes that uniform accounting procedures and charts of accounts improve financial management while maintaining the principle of home rule over local matters. It is the intent of the general assembly to facilitate the ability of the public easily to compare public data generated by the state and other public office using this common language.’

This bill will codify the open data policies that govern the open data portal introduced by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and the Ohio Treasury Office, but not the direct implementation of those policies. The DataOhio board is established by the legislation and that board has the responsiblities of defining those implementation standards.

In 2013, PIRG ranked Ohio 46th in the nation for government financial data transparency. In 2014, this failing grade got the attention of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. The Ohio Treasury Office built OhioCheckbook.com which for the first time in state history put every dollar spent online in a searchable database. They also began developing a local government initiative to invite counties, cities, villages, townships, schools and special districts to join for free. The Treasurer’s office has over 1,000 local governments voluntarily participating. For more details on the Ohio State Checkbook.com Financial Transparency User Story

A version of this bill was first introduced 2013 in the Ohio House legislature in two parts, which did not pass in the Ohio Senate GA130-HB321 and GA130-HB323.

The 2017 legislation Ohio State Bill GA132-HR3: Improve transparency of public data, is sponsored by Rep. Duffey and Rep. Hagan. The bill outlines

  • state auditor authority to adopt uniform accounting standards for public offices
  • requirement that the state auditor work with the state librarian to publish public data
  • requirements for open data posting by municipalities and agencies
  • online catalog at data.ohio.gov
  • sets up the DataOhio board, office, and grant program with public and private partners
  • grants the DataOhio board the responsiblities of recommending technology standards, accounting standards, metadata standards
  • sets aside $350K in 2018 for the state auditor to develop uniform acccounting procedures and public office adoption rules

The bill previously had an $10M appropration which was amended out.