Open records and non-profits in Iowa

The Des Moines Register continues to play a significant role in open records in Iowa, this week revealing that the alumni associations for two of the state’s public universities have exclusive contracts with credit card companies to promote those credit cards to students.

The alumni associations contend that as private organizations, they are not subject to Iowa’s open records law.

They haven’t been reading the tea leaves.

The Des Moines Register has some information about the contracts because the public universities to which these supposedly private organizations are attached don’t deny that they are subject to Iowa FOIA, but it doesn’t have all the information it seeks.

It is ironic that these alumni associations have entered into information-sharing contracts with private credit cards companies–under the terms of which they share with those credit card companies a very significant amount of otherwise private information about students–but are unwilling to share with Iowa newspapers the nature of those contracts.

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