Sunday, March 14, 2010
University of Iowa Says Consultant's Documents Not Subject to Open Records Law
The University of Iowa denies that records sought by The Press-Citizen are subject to the state's Open Records law. The news group sought documents and correspondence from a consulting firm that helped the university draft new strategic communications and media response polices and communications consulting for an amount in excess of $250,000 in 2009.
The Press-Citizen sought documents and correspondence from the consultants and UI officials that related to the media relations strategies, practices and policies and tactical advice for specific circumstances or interviews. The university maintains that the Open Records law does not apply because the consulting firm is an external agency that was not performing a governmental function.
Kathleen Richardson of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council says the university's position violates the Open Records law and undermines a 2005 Iowa Supreme Court ruling.
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