National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Attorney general’s position in lawsuit is concerning, Iowa transparency advocate says

The executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council has raised concerns about court filings in which the attorney general’s office suggests the state’s freedom of information law is not standing policy, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported Aug. 20, 2021. “I am worried that the state’s legal arguments … will be viewed by government […]

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Iowa stymies public information requests in pandemic

COVID-19 has Iowans wanting more information from federal, state and local governments to guide life-or-death decisions raised by the unprecedented pandemic. Is it safe to go to the store? Do masks prevent spread of the virus? Should my kids go to school in the fall? At a time when Iowans need accurate and complete information, […]

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Iowa is denying the public access to some records of its COVID-19 response

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has denied some requests for information about Iowa’s preparedness and response to the novel coronavirus by citing a broad exemption in the state’s public records law. Two Iowa agencies have denied Des Moines Register requests this month seeking documentation of the state’s pandemic response plan and daily reports regarding the state’s response to the virus and COVID-19, […]

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Governors Association Works with Eight States to Improve Health Data Sharing

Eight states are in the early stages of a collaboration with the National Governors Association that could enhance their ability to use and share health-care data enterprise-wide, ultimately improving operations and services to residents. On June 13, NGA, which works with governors on public policy and governance issues, announced a health policy partnership around data best practices […]

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Judge orders city to give up full video in case of Iowa mom killed by cop

A federal judge has ordered Iowa to release video and other records in the 2015 police shooting death of Burlington mother Autumn Steele, a ruling that could open more law enforcement video to public inspection. Burlington Police officer Jesse Hill accidentally shot Steele after he responded to a report of a domestic dispute during which […]

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Recent legislative actions in Kentucky, Iowa and Washington demonstrate urgent need for state FOI and open government reforms

      NEWS RELEASE March 23, 2018 Contact: Daniel Bevarly  •  239.823.1811 dbevarly@nfoic.org   Recent legislative actions in Kentucky, Iowa and Washington demonstrate urgent need for state FOI and open government reforms Existing laws directing state government transparency and accountability to residents are under threat. Three recent actions by state legislatures in Kentucky, Washington […]

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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.

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IA: Can some police records be forever sealed?

The Department of Public Safety denied all or parts of 40 out of 59 record requests it received during the first six months of 2016, a Des Moines Register investigation found.  And of the 40 denials, 28 were based on the investigative file exemption – regardless of whether the case is closed, remains under investigation, or went cold three decades ago.

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Op-ed: Removing birthdate from Iowa court records could have unintended consequences

Over the past several years, efforts have been made to remove identifiers from public records due to concerns over identity theft.

Many federal, state and local public agencies and courts are actively considering whether to remove or redact identifiers from public records and documents.

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