University of Iowa broke public records law, state board staff say

Open government advocates and Iowa’s state universities are poised for a fight over whether federal copyright laws pre-empt state laws requiring government agencies to provide public access to state-generated documents and materials.

The staff of the Iowa Public Information Board has found the University of Iowa broke Iowa’s public records law by refusing to share its photos and video from the historic 2008 floods with a Cedar Rapids documentary filmmaker.


Iowa law vague on police video footage as open records, officials say

When police cameras roll, they can capture captivating and informative images.  But not all of those videos are being released for public consumption.

In part because of haziness in Iowa law, disputes have arisen over when police dashboard and body camera footage should be made public and when it can be withheld by law enforcement.


Deal to get more details of fatal Iowa police shooting falls apart

The Iowa Public Information Board, which pledged to try to broker a compromise between law enforcement and the family of a Burlington woman shot and killed by an officer, may dismiss the family’s complaint after government agencies refused to release more information.

Board staff issued a report Tuesday saying the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Burlington Police Department did not break Iowa’s Open Records law by refusing to release records about the Jan. 6 shooting of Autumn Steele.


Dueling sides seek help of Iowa Public Information Board

From The Des Moines Register:  A new Iowa board may help resolve decades of tension between public records advocates and government officials.

On one side are officials who say that some Iowans have made dozens — even hundreds — of public records requests in recent years that have become so burdensome that at least one city office can’t function properly at times.


Iowa Department of Public Safety reduces charge for public records

From Des Moines Register:  The Iowa Department of Public Safety now says it will not charge The Des Moines Register the overtime rate for an employee to gather data in response to a public records request.

The decision came a day after the newspaper filed three complaints with the Iowa Public Information Board over record costs and access issues involving the departments of Public Safety and Human Services.


NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for August 31, 2012: Open government news from the states

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

Know Your Rights: Open Records in Rhode Island

What is APRA?: The Access to Public Records Act, or APRA, is the Rhode Island state law that gives individuals the right to see and obtain public records. The law provides guidelines for obtaining access to these records, and also defines which records are subject to public inspection and which are exempt.