National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

No agreement on whether personnel files should be made public

Whether Iowa's public records law should be amended to make public the reasons that government employees are fired sparked debate in a roundtable discussion Thursday at The Des Moines Register.

Advocates like Gov. Terry Branstad say citizens have a right to learn of a government worker's wrongdoing as a matter of public safety. Opponents like Sen. Matt McCoy worry changing the law would violate a person's privacy, unfairly jeopardize a fired worker's chances of future employment and potentially open the state to ongoing rounds of litigation.

Those two divergent views were on display at Thursday's roundtable, "Opening Doors, Opening Minds," an event sponsored by The Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association in light of recent public record and meeting controversies in which Iowans were denied access to government information. Continue>>>