IPIB Monthly Column
March 16, 2023
Margaret Johnson, Executive Director

The Iowa Public Information Board Celebrates Sunshine Week in Iowa

The Iowa Public Information Board will highlight Sunshine Week in Iowa at their monthly Board meeting on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.

Sunshine Week is a nationwide event to educate the public about the importance of open government and transparency.  It coincides each year with James Madison’s birthday and National Freedom of Information Day. Sunshine Week is a celebration of access to information and what it means for communities and citizens in our state and across the country.  It provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of access to information as a cornerstone of democracy.

The Iowa Public Information Board was created in 2012 to provide a free, efficient way for Iowans to receive information and resolve complaints related to Iowa’s open meetings and public records laws.  It promotes and educates Iowans about transparency within our government. 

The IPIB works with Iowa’s governmental bodies, the media, and the citizenry at large. The vast majority of complaints are settled informally, with a negotiated compromise that satisfies both parties, reduces community conflict, and results in increased government transparency.

For more information about the IPIB, please visit: www.ipib.iowa.gov.  Opinions, rulings, FAQs, monthly columns, and training documents are also available on the IPIB website.  Questions for the IPIB can be posted on the website or by calling 515-725-1781.

Interested in applying for the vacancy on the IPIB?  Please apply online at https://talentbank.iowa.gov/board-detail/e821f1ad-cda1-48b8-8ebc-41075bf86318.

 Did You Know that the Iowa Public Information Board staff is available to assist you with questions or problems involving open meetings and public records in Iowa?   During the month of February 2023, 85 contacts were made with the Iowa Public Information Board office.

TYPE                                                            February 2023           

Formal complaints                                              15                                    

Advisory opinions                                                    2                                  

Declaratory orders                                               0                                  

Informal complaints                                           16                                 

Informal requests                                               33                                  

Miscellaneous                                                    19                                                                    

TOTAL:                                                              85                                                         

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 IPIB website.  In 2023, 163 identifiable people have contacted the IPIB.  Of these, 104 were private citizens, 47 were government officials or employees, and 12 were members of the media. In 2023, 70% of the incoming contacts were resolved the first day, 15% were resolved in one to five days, and 15% were resolved in six or more days. Opinions, rulings, FAQs, reports, and training documents are available on the IPIB website – www.ipib.iowa.gov