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Peter Bertch/Iowa Workforce Development - Dismissal Order

The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

Peter Bertch, Complainant

And Concerning:

Iowa Workforce Development, Respondent


                      Case Number: 21FC:0008


                              Dismissal Order



COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order:


On February 11, 2021, Peter Bertch filed formal complaint 21FC:0008, alleging that the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) violated Iowa Code chapter 22.


Mr. Bertch alleged that IWD violated Iowa Code chapter 22 by declining to release records he had requested on February 8, 2021, utilizing IWD’s online portal.  He alleged that he requested records concerning an IWD employee and IWD procedures.


A copy of the complaint was provided to IWD on February 11, 2021.  On that same date, IWD provided some of the requested records. 


On February 15, 2021, Mr. Bertch notified the IPIB that he was dropping those portions of his request that were confidential records.


Legal counsel for the IWD responded to the complaint on February 16, 2021, noting that the record request was properly fulfilled.  For records not released, the IWD provided the reason those records were not released (see chart attached as Attachment A).


The IWD did not violate Iowa Code chapter 22.  All records required to be released by Iowa Code section 22.7(11) were timely released.  Some requested records do not exist.  


Iowa Code section 22.7(11)(a) provides that personal information in personnel files is confidential, except for certain information:


11. a. Personal information in confidential personnel records of government bodies relating to identified or identifiable individuals who are officials, officers, or employees of the government bodies. However, the following information relating to such individuals contained in personnel records shall be public records:


(1) The name and compensation of the individual including any written agreement establishing compensation or any other terms of employment excluding any information otherwise excludable from public information pursuant to this section or any other applicable provision of law. For purposes of this paragraph, “compensation” means payment of, or agreement to pay, any money, thing of value, or financial benefit conferred in return for labor or services rendered by an official, officer, or employee plus the value of benefits conferred including but not limited to casualty, disability, life, or health insurance, other health or wellness benefits, vacation, holiday, and sick leave, severance payments, retirement benefits, and deferred compensation.


(2) The dates the individual was employed by the government body.


(3) The positions the individual holds or has held with the government body.


(4) The educational institutions attended by the individual, including any diplomas and degrees earned, and the names of the individual’s previous employers, positions previously held, and dates of previous employment.


(5) The fact that the individual resigned in lieu of termination, was discharged, or was demoted as the result of a disciplinary action, and the documented reasons and rationale for the resignation in lieu of termination, the discharge, or the demotion.  For purposes of this subparagraph, "demoted" and "demotion" mean a change of an employee from a position in a given classification to a position in a classification having a lower pay grade.


Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint. This complaint does not meet those requirements.


IT IS SO ORDERED:  Formal complaint 21FC:0008 is dismissed as legally insufficient and without merit, pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(2) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(b). 


Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may “delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the executive director, subject to review by the board.”  The IPIB will review this Order on March 18, 2021.  Pursuant to IPIB rule 497-2.1(4), the parties will be notified in writing of its decision.


By the IPIB Executive Director



Margaret E. Johnson




This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of March, 2021, to:


Peter Bertch

David Steen, legal counsel for Iowa Workforce Development


Printed from the website on April 17, 2021 at 11:29am.