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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Iowa Guv Sits On Flood Report Draft

Gov. Chet Culver's staff refused this week to release a draft report that outlines Iowa's housing recommendations after the floods.

The final report will be used to help state leaders navigate upcoming recovery efforts. What it says — largely a product of public input — could play a major role in the amount and types of additional assistance provided to families affected by the flood.

Culver's spokeswoman, Courtney Greene, said the Rebuild Iowa Office will release all drafts of the report on Aug. 25, after a the task force has had time to respond with possible revisions. The public will have time, after that, to recommend revisions and suggestions, she said.

"This office is committed to transparency as it relates to the Rebuild Iowa Office," Greene wrote in a statement.

But key pieces of the report, which was written by a consultant who monitored public meetings, could be altered by the task force before the public has an opportunity to view the document, an open-records advocate said.

"Decisions that are made out of the public eye breed suspicion by citizens," said Kathleen Richardson of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.

More here.

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