COLUMBUS –State Representative Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) applauded the passage of House Bill 3, also known as DataOhio, which would allow Ohio citizens to more easily find and use public record data online by standardizing formats to allow for simplified programming and accounting methods. Possible uses of the data include charts showing taxpayer spending, crime statistics, healthcare statistics and much more.


DataOhio, as described in House Bill 3, consists of three primary components:


• The bill creates a DataOhio Board to allow various groups to meet monthly to work on improving access to public records and recommend standards for how public records are organized.


• The bill asks the State Auditor to create simplified accounting systems for public offices to allow “apples-to-apples” comparisons, as Ohio citizens might currently expect but which is not possible.


• The bill creates a single-location website – data.ohio.gov – to function as a quick access portal, also known as an online data catalog, to save citizens time in searching one website rather than dozens of differently formatted websites.

Taken together, these components lay the foundation for Ohio citizens to have much easier access to public records and would allow researchers autonomy in searching rather than formally requesting hardcopies of public records. Small startup companies in Ohio could also use the data to create jobs in information technology.

“As a thirty-nine year veteran of local politics, I truly understand the need for greater transparency and accountability at the state level. Our local elected officials can only do their jobs if we give them the tools and information to do so. I believe this bill is an excellent step forward in this regard,” Arndt said.


If enacted, DataOhio is intended to greatly reduce labor costs for research projects by eliminating repetitive tasks such as retyping data by hand into spreadsheets. In addition to supporting technology startup efforts, the bill could also help save taxpayer dollars by simplifying financial audits.


House Bill 3, sponsored by State Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) and Christina Hagan (R-Alliance), now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

 
 
 
  
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