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Iowa Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Iowa State Agencies

Do you represent a Iowa Government Agency and wondering how you should archive all your web and social media content? Are you trying to determine what you need to do both from a legal and a technical point of view? Here’s a guide to the different Laws and processes you should follow.

What Laws govern Records Management in Iowa State?

Iowa Open Records Law (Iowa Code §22.1 et seq.) and Iowa Open Meetings Law (Iowa Code §21.1 et seq.) regulate social media and Open Records law in the State of Iowa.

Do Iowa State Records Laws include Website and Social Media content?

Yes they do, and the relevant metadata is also pertinent to these laws. Agency websites are bound by the same provisions, preservation and destruction schedules as paper documents.

Chapter 22 of the Iowa Code (Examination of Public Records (Open records)) states that public records” includes all records, documents, tape, or other information, stored or preserved in any medium. (The State Records Commission, pursuant to Iowa Code section 305.8(1)(a) and(g), is still developing guidelines on agency maintenance of tangible records in electronic records keeping systems.)

What agencies are subject to these laws?

Iowa Public Records Laws provide for the preservation and production of public records by the relevant agencies, and regulated access for the public to these records, including online and social media content. The scope of these provisions applies to records held by public officers in their official capacities, regardless of origin. Howard v. Des Moines Register & Tribune Co., 283 N.W.2d 289 (Iowa 1979), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 904, 100 S. Ct. 1081, 63 L.Ed.2d 320 (1980).

What is my agency required to do in line with these regulations?

The “lawful custodian” of records (the government body currently in physical possession of the public record), subject to Chapter 22 of the Iowa code must preserve, record and prominently make available for inspection and copying state records to the public, limiting to any comprehensible writing created and/or archived by a relevant agency as an appropriate method by which the body or official discharges a public duty. (State v. Barnholtz, 613 N.W.2d 218 (Iowa 2000)).

In which form do I need to archive my records?

Electronic public record shall be made available in a format useable with commonly available data processing or database management software (HTML, CSS, PDF etc.). (22.3A Iowa Code).

How can PageFreezer help our agency?

PageFreezer has been working on our Archiving technology and processes since 2006 – We know how to properly archive Web Sites, Blogs and Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Just ask any of our over 500 clients including US Cities, Counties and other Government Agencies as well as Multinationals, Financial Service Firms, Healthcare Providers …

Our clients know our technology is secure, reliable and authenticated. More importantly they appreciate the ease-of-use.

That’s why our complex technology is simple to use – The archiving is automatic and retrieval is a matter of signing in, going to the date you want, and browsing your site just like you did when the content was just published.

If you have questions about any of this or about how to actually implement effective Online Public Records management start a free trial, schedule a demo or contact us directly.


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Iowa City of Altoona Social Media Policy
Iowa County Social Media Policy