PUBLIC INFORMATION BOARD ISSUES FIRST REPORT

Rod Boshart
Published: January 24 2014 | 1:34 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:37 am in

The nine-member Iowa Public Information Board has processed 251 case inquiries since formally beginning operations last July 8. In its first annual report, IPIB officials said those cases included 43 formal complaints of possible violations of the state’s open meetings and open records laws brought by citizens, elected officials and the media. All but two of those complaints have been resolved. No formal field investigations occurred during the first six months of the board’s existence and no formal hearings were conducted in 2013. The board and its staff – made up of an executive director, deputy directors and administrative assistant – also handled three formal opinions, two declaratory orders, 51 informal complaints, 139 informal requests and 13 miscellaneous items such as training or legislative issues through Dec. 31. Several cases were dismissed as having not been timely filed -- outside the board’s 60-day period of limitation. Also, some requests sought assistance on problems that are not within the board’s jurisdiction. Last August the board opened at Web site www.ipib.iowa.gov, which includes the full text of Chapters 21, 22, and 23 of the Iowa Code, as well as provides answers to common questions about various issues, provides copies of selected formal complaint decisions of likely interest, all minutes and agendas for IPIB meetings, and contact information.

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