Iowa Supreme Court building in Des Moines.

Iowa’s Judicial Branch Flunks Transparency Survey Despite Landmark Reports Availability

Iowa’s Judicial Branch flunked a recent transparency and accountability study because of barriers to public access to information, a lack of legal requirements for judicial evaluations and issues surrounding potential conflicts of interest. They include limited access judicial officers’ asset disclosures and a lack of restrictions on judges returning to the private sector after the bench.


Iowa Draws A Lowly D+ In New Government Transparency Report

The fact that state authorities sought to obstruct disclosure of a police shooting in Burlington explains, in part, why Iowa received an overall grade of D+ in a 2015 State Integrity Investigation conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity.


Only three states score higher than D+ in State Integrity Investigation; 11 flunk

The 2015 State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of state government, found that in state after state, open records laws are laced with exemptions and part-time legislators and agency officials engage in glaring conflicts of interests and cozy relationships with lobbyists. Meanwhile, feckless, understaffed watchdogs struggle to enforce laws as porous as honeycombs.


About The State Integrity Investigation

The State Integrity Investigation is an in-depth collaboration designed to assess transparency, accountability, ethics and oversight in state government, spotlight the states that are doing things right and expose practices that undermine trust in state capitals.

Methodology: How We Investigated State Integrity

The State Integrity Investigation assesses the existence, effectiveness, and accessibility (i.e. citizen access) of key governance and anti-corruption mechanisms through a qualitative and indicator-based research process.