Iowa Freedom of Information Council: Iowa more open with public information

From press-citizen.com: The Iowa Freedom of Information Council released its annual “State of Freedom of Information in Iowa” report at its annual business meeting Thursday in Iowa City, detailing a slew of public information developments over the last year.

Most notably, the Iowa Public Information Board began full operations in July. The board meets monthly to review complaints from citizens who say their requests for public information have been wrongly denied.

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‘Walking quorums’ block Iowa government openness

From Press-citizen.com:

During the Sept. 18 open government workshop with the Iowa Newspaper Association, local citizens learned much about how to use the state’s public records and open meetings laws to hold their officials accountable. But the existing laws have one major weakness: they still allow circumvention through a process called “walking quorums.”

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Iowa View: Private, public matters not easy to separate

Opinion from The Des Moines Register:

I was at a dinner party not long after the scandal erupted over former Des Moines schools Superintendent Nancy Sebring’s emails. At one point, the hostess turned to me and asked, “So, why should government emails be public?”

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Iowans in poll favor more effort into providing access to public meetings and open records

From The Gazette:

Two in three Iowans polled favor the creation of a board in state government to handle citizen complaints about violations of open meetings and access to government documents.

The findings come as Gov. Terry Branstad has joined open government advocates in pushing the Legislature to create such a board, staffed by a full-time attorney, to handle complaints.

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