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Iowa FOIA procedures
Each state varies slightly in the procedures used to gain access to public documents. This article serves to describe specifically the steps used in Iowa. To read the history and details of Iowa’s sunshine laws please see Iowa Open Records Law
How to request public records in Iowa
The act declares that all public bodies are obligated to nominate an individual within their office as the official records custodian and announce this custodian to the public. All records requests should be directed to the official records custodians for a department.
Purpose and use
The act does not require a statement of purpose and does not place any restrictions on the use of records.
Who may request public records?
- See also: How much do public records cost?
Fees can be ascribed strictly based on duplication and are at the discretion of the department.
- See also: Request response times by state
Iowa allows for 10-20 days for record request responses to be completed.
Ensuring government compliance: The Iowa Public Information Board
In 2012, the Iowa Legislature passed SF 430, a bill establishing the creation of a Public Information Board charged with ensuring government compliance with certain state open records laws. The board will develop a procedure for submitting complaints, and will be able to initiate mediation between the requester and the respondent. If mediation fails, or if either party declines mediation, the board will investigate the complaint. If the board ultimately determines that the complaint has merit, it can issue an order to ensure enforcement of state open record laws.
State of Iowa
Des Moines (capital)
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