Date: May 18, 2017
Subject: Local Government and 28E Agreements
1695 115th Street
Diagonal, Iowa 50845
Dear Mr. Kilgore:
This opinion is in response to your letter of May 5, 2017, requesting an opinion from the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.6 and rule 497—1.2. We note at the outset that IPIB’s jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 21, 22, and 23, and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 497. Advice in a Board opinion, if followed, constitutes a defense to a subsequent complaint based on the same facts and circumstances.
FACTUAL STATEMENT: You request an opinion concerning agreements established under Iowa Code chapter 28E, and how local governments can enter into such agreements.
- Are 28E agreements and contracts differentiated in the statutes?
- Are 28E agreements for local government entities restricted to those political subdivisions defined in section 25B.3?
- Are County Homerule strictures on noncurrent debt (e.g. section 331.478) applicable to multiyear employment contracts?
- Is there a statutory basis for 28E agreements/contracts in perpetuity (to mirror the concept of perpetual incorporations), or is such a contract an artifice of the attorneys involved with no basis in law?
The questions you ask are not under the jurisdiction of the Board. Rule 497-1.2 states:
497—1.2(23) Requirements for requesting board advisory opinions. 1.2(1) Jurisdiction. The board will only issue advisory opinions pertaining to Iowa Code chapters 21 and 22, or rules adopted thereunder. The board shall not have jurisdiction over the judicial or legislative branches of state government or any entity, officer, or employee of those branches, or over the governor or the office of the governor.
The Iowa Public Information Board does not have jurisdiction to issue an opinion concerning Iowa Code chapters 28E, 25B, and 331.
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-1.3(3), a person who has received a board opinion may, within 30 days after the issuance of the opinion, request modification or reconsideration of the opinion. A request for modification or reconsideration shall be deemed denied unless the board acts upon the request within 60 days of receipt of the request. The IPIB may take up modification or reconsideration of an advisory opinion on its own motion within 30 days after the issuance of an opinion.
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-1.3(5), a person who has received a board opinion or advice may petition for a declaratory order pursuant to Iowa Code section 17A.9. The IPIB may refuse to issue a declaratory order to a person who has previously received a board opinion on the same question, unless the requestor demonstrates a significant change in circumstances from those in the board opinion.
BY DIRECTION AND VOTE OF THE BOARD
Suzan Stewart, Chair
E. J. Giovannetti
Margaret E. Johnson, Interim Executive Director