Public Records (Open Records) Requests
Questions & Answers
What is the Public Records Law?
Iowa Code Chapter 22 – Examination of Public Records (Open Records) is intended to ensure that Iowa’s state agencies .and institutions are as transparent and accountable to the public as possible. It broadly creates a presumption that records created and held by public agencies are public. At the same time, the law provides for protection of confidential and proprietary information.
What rights do requesters of records have?
Persons may examine and receive copies of records, unless they are exempt from disclosure. A person may request a copy of a record in person, in writing, by telephone or by electronic means. The requester may be charged the actual cost for supervising the examination of records of and making and providing copies of public records. The person cannot be required to give a reason for requesting the record or to put their request in writing, unless the person has requested certain confidential records. The rights of the requestor may be exercised at any time during the customary office hours of the lawful custodian of the records (Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – Noon and 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., excluding District breaks and legal holidays, unless the person exercising such right and the lawful custodian agree on a different time).
What are Public Records?
Public records include all records, documents, tape, or other information, stored or preserved in any medium, of or belonging to the District. There are certain public records outlined in Iowa Code Chapter 22.7 that are exempt from disclosure and shall be kept confidential, unless otherwise ordered by a court, by the lawful custodian of the records, or by another person duly authorized to release such information.
Who is the Lawful Custodian of IVCCD’s Public Records and responsible for responding to public record requests?
Per IVCCD Board Policy 860, the Board Secretary is designated as custodian of public records for the District and is responsible for responding in a timely manner to requests for reviewing and receiving public records of the District. Where the status of a record as confidential cannot be readily ascertained, the Board Secretary will seek legal advice before allowing or refusing examination of a record.
All requests for IVCCD public records should be referred or forwarded to:
Requestors may also complete IVCCD’s Online Public Records (Open Records) Request Form but, as noted above, they are not required to do so.
How Much Time Does the District Have to Respond?
Generally, the District should respond as soon as reasonable. Ordinarily we try to respond in 10 days unless there is a good reason we are unable to do so. Chapter 22.8 allows a “good faith” delay in fulfilling a request in some circumstances, but the delay shall not exceed 20 calendar days and ordinarily should not exceed 10 business days. The Board Secretary keeps a log of when requests are received by the District and its response to show how it has complied with the law.