IPIB Monthly Column - Are Settlement Agreements Public Records ? (Chapter 22)
ARE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS PUBLIC RECORDS?
Yes, a settlement agreement approved by a government body is a public record. Iowa Code section 22.13 provides:
“When a government body reaches a final, binding, written settlement agreement that resolves a legal dispute claiming monetary damages, equitable relief, or a violation of a rule or statute, the government body shall, upon request and to the extent allowed under applicable law, prepare a brief summary of the resolution of the dispute indicating the identity of the parties involved, the nature of the dispute, and the terms of the settlement, including any payments made by or on behalf of the government body and any actions to be taken by the government body. A government body is not required to prepare a summary if the settlement agreement includes the information required to be included in the summary. The settlement agreement and any required summary shall be a public record.”
ANNUAL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COUNCIL MEETING AND EVENTS
The Iowa Freedom of Information Council will hold its annual meeting and events on September 29, 2016. More information is available at www.inanews.com.
Facts and Figures for August 2016 and for 2016 year-to-date:
During the month of August 2016, 78 contacts were made with the Iowa Public Information Board office.
TYPE August 2016 2016 Year-To-Date
Formal complaints 7 79
Formal opinions 0 12
Declaratory orders 0 1
Informal complaints 6 61
Informal requests 63 447
Miscellaneous 2 7
TOTALS: 78 607
Who can contact the IPIB and how long does it take?
Any person can contact the IPIB for assistance by telephone (515-725-1781), by email, or on the website. So far, in 2016, 607 identifiable people have contacted the IPIB. Of these, 45% were private citizens, 42% were government officials or employees, and 13% were members of the media.
In the month of August 2016, 69% of the incoming contacts were resolved the same day, 14% were resolved in one to five days, and 17% were resolved in six or more days.