Before the Iowa Public Information Board
In re the Matter of:
Rachel Bruns, Complainant
Iowa Department of Public Health, Respondent
Case Number: 21FC:0016
COMES NOW Zachary S. Goodrich, Legal Counsel for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) and submits this Final Report recommending dismissal of the complaint as successfully resolved through an informal resolution.
On March 5, 2021, Rachel Bruns filed formal complaint 21FC:0016 alleging that the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) violated Iowa Code chapter 22.
Complainant alleged that IDPH failed to respond in a timely manner to a records request. The records request was submitted on December 15, 2020. Complainant sent a follow up message on February 9, 2021. At the time the complaint was filed, no response had been provided by IDPH.
On April 15, 2021, the IPIB voted to accept the complaint pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(1) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(a).
On June 3, 2021, the IDPH provided the responsive records to Ms. Bruns.
Pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.9, the parties negotiated and reached an informal resolution.
Ms. Bruns approved the Informal Resolution on June 24, 2021. IDPH approved the Informal Resolution on June 25, 2021. The IPIB approved the Informal Resolution on July 15, 2021.
The terms of the Informal Resolution are:
- IDPH acknowledges record requests for aggregated data related to maternal health matters including, but not limited to births, cesareans, and VBACs, are generally valid Iowa Code Chapter 22 requests.
- Ms. Bruns acknowledges that certain requests for aggregated data may require redaction if the raw data violates IDPH’s policy on release of small numbers, and that certain requests for aggregated data may be declined if data is not maintained in the format requested.
- IDPH acknowledges that record requests must be responded to pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 22.
- IDPH will develop a revised policy/procedure for how to process record requests in compliance with Iowa Code chapter 22. The revised policy/procedure will then be provided to the IPIB for approval.
- Upon IPIB approval of the revised IDPH policy/procedure, the complaint shall be dismissed as successfully resolved.
The revised IDPH records request policy directly addresses the issues in this complaint (see Attachment A).
The revisions include requirements for communicating with the requestor to (1) confirm receipt of the request within two business days, and (2) provide an update on the request no less than once every fifteen business days.
It is recommended that the IPIB approve the revised IDPH policy and dismiss this complaint as successfully resolved through an informal resolution.
Respectfully submitted this 19th day of August, 2021.
Zachary S. Goodrich
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
This document was sent by electronic mail on the _____ day of August, 2021, to:
Rachel Bruns, Complainant
Heather Adams, counsel for IDPH