Iowa's State and Local Governments Fall Short on Transparency Test Print
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sunshine Review   
Monday, 13 February 2012 14:45
Alexandria, Va.— Today, Sunshine Review, a nonprofit, pro-transparency organization, released its state transparency analysis for Iowa’s government websites. Graded on a 10-point transparency checklist, Iowa scored in the bottom three states analyzed by Sunshine Review with an overall score of a “C.”

“Iowa’s failure to provide information on taxpayer funded lobbying is a major fault in their goal to be a transparent government.  In addition, their county and school district websites failed to disclose vital information which brought down their transparency grade even farther,” said Sunshine Review’s President Michael Barnhart. “Transparency should be a priority to every elected official and voter in this country. Citizens in Iowa and around the nation deserve to have the information they need to hold their government accountable.”

Sunshine Review’s state rankings are based on content available on government websites against what should be provided. The checklist seeks information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes.

The Iowa state website earned a "C" grade, accounting for half of Iowa’s overall grade. Sunshine Review also analyzed the websites of the five largest counties which averaged a "C+.” The five largest cities earned a "B-" and the ten largest school districts also earned a "C" average.

Out of the 24 states analyzed by Sunshine Review, Iowa ranked 22nd in transparency. Iowa’s state website failed to make public information on taxpayer-funded lobbying. In addition, a majority of the city and county websites do not disclose any information on lobbying or contracts awarded. Of the school district grades, Davenport community schools received a disappointing “D-“ while Des Moines public schools received a “B.”

Information on the individual cities, counties, and schools can be found by clicking on the below links.

School Districts:

Sunshine Review is a nonprofit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and a transparent government. Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of all 50 states and more than 6,000 state and local entities.

To schedule an interview with Sunshine Review’s President please contact Meghan Tisinger at or (703) 965-1145.
For more information, visit

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