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Advisory Opinions
Advisory Opinions: Nonjurisdictional


Date: July 28, 2017

Subject: Identification of a jurisdictional authority for the validation of computer accounting

Kevin Kilgore
1695 115th Street
Diagonal, Iowa 50845

Dear Mr. Kilgore:

This opinion is in response to your letter of June 28, 2017, and July 5, 2017, update requesting an opinion from the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.6 and rule 497β€”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 identification of a jurisdictional authority for the validation of computer accounting for public monies. 


  1. What entity is the jurisdictional/accountable authority for validation of compliance and accuracy of the computer accounting systems which input to the public monies budgeting system?
  2. What written guidance exists to delineate that process?


The questions you ask are not within the jurisdiction of the Board.  Rule 497-1.2 states:

497β€”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 IPIB does not have the authority to issue guidance on data entry in accounting processes.  You cite Iowa Code section 22.3A as providing that authority to the IPIB.  However, this section concerns the records generated by a data entry system, not how the initial data entry should be accomplished.  

Each government body may have written guidance concerning data entry.  You could determine that by contacting the government body utilizing a particular data entry system.

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.

Suzan Stewart, Chair
E. J. Giovannetti  
Keith Luchtel
Monica McHugh
Frederick Morain
​William Peard
Julie Pottorff                                                                                                                               
Renee Twedt 
Mary Ungs-Sogaard                                                                                                                                                                                

Submitted by:
Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director