Iowa Finance Authority
Programs

Public Records Policy

  Application of This Policy

This policy shall govern the activities of the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) with regard to its record retention practices and responses to requests for public records. Public inquiries regarding this policy should be directed to IFA’s public records officer, using the contact information listed below.

  Definitions

“Non-incidental retrieval or supervisory services” means services provided by IFA staff to persons requesting access to public documents that exceed three hours in duration.

“Public record” means a record, as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 22. A public record includes both ‘confidential records’ and ‘open records.’ A ‘confidential record,’ as used in this policy, means a record, which is not available as a matter of right for examination and copying by members of the public under applicable provisions of the law. ‘Confidential records’ includes records or information contained in records that the agency is prohibited by law from making available for examination by members of the public, and records or information contained in records that are specified as confidential by Iowa Code section 22.7, or other provision of law, including but not limited to executive privilege. An ‘open record’ as used in this policy means a record other than a confidential record. 

“Public records officer” means an official who possesses a broad understanding of programs and records of IFA, and who is designated by IFA’s Executive Director to coordinate its records program.

  Policy Statement

IFA is committed to ensuring that the workings of the agency are open to public inspection. To that end, a public record in the custody of this office will be maintained and archived through a standard record retention policy, with public access to be given in full compliance with applicable provisions of law.

The record retention program will provide economy and efficiency in the creation, organization, administrative use, maintenance, security, availability and disposition of public records to ensure that a needless record will not be created or retained, and a valuable record will be preserved, as provided under Iowa law. This office will preserve the integrity of public records, and reply to all open records requests in a timely, responsive and efficient manner in full compliance with applicable provisions of law.

  Record of Retention Requirements

Every record made or received under the authority of, or coming into the custody, control or possession of IFA personnel, in connection with the transaction of official business of the agency, and having sufficient legal, fiscal, administrative or historical value, shall be retained in accordance with Iowa law. The designated records officer will oversee IFA’s record retention program, and will serve as the primary point of contact with the state archives. This office will follow the record retention protocol that is established by the Iowa Records’ Retention Commission. The records officer shall select retention mechanisms designed to implement the commission protocol, and arrange for training for IFA personnel on each selected mechanism. 

  Availability of a Public Record

Open records will be available to the public during customary office hours, which are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Immediate access to records may be affected by a good faith effort to verify the scope of the records request; locate the specific records requested and determine whether any of the records, or information contained therein, are confidential in nature.  This office will make every effort to provide the public with access to public records in a prompt and efficient manner. If this office discovers that circumstances will prolong a timely response, this office will notify the requestor at once, and make alternate arrangements to provide the response in a manner that is satisfactory to the requestor.

Confidential records may be withheld, and confidential information within an otherwise open record may be redacted prior to a record’s release for public examination and copying. If a confidential record is withheld from examination and copying, or confidential information within an otherwise open record are redacted, IFA will identify the document(s), and cite the applicable provision of law, which supports the decision to withhold the confidential information from public examination.

  Requests for a Public Record

Requests for access to a public record may be made in person, in writing or by telephone. A request for access to a public record should be directed to the IFA public records officer. Requests transmitted by mail shall be addressed to: Public Records Officer, Iowa Finance Authority, 2015 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Requests by e-mail should include the term “Public Records Request” in the subject field. Requests by telephone should be directed to the public records officer at: 800-432-7230.

Persons who submit a mail, electronic or oral request for public records should also provide their name, address and telephone number to facilitate effective communication with this office regarding the request. Persons who submit their request orally may receive a transmittal letter from this office verifying the specific scope of the search requested. If needed, the verification letter will be transmitted before the request for documents is processed.

Requests for access to a public record shall identify the particular public record to which access is requested, by name or description to identify efficiently the desired record. The requestor’s description should (1) specify the particular type of record sought; (2) specify the particular time period to be searched by providing a start and end date; (3) specify the author and/or recipient of the record requested, to the extent possible; (4) specify, to extent possible, the particular records’ medium to be searched (letters, memoranda, reports, recordings, etc.) – the requestor shall specify if the request applies to a record stored in electronic form; and (5) provide any other pertinent information that will assist this office in locating the record requested. If the public request applies to a record that is stored in electronic form, the requestor shall list the search terms to be used to conduct the electronic search.

IFA personnel should direct public record requests to the records officer for docketing and processing. The records officer will work with IFA’s general counsel, information technology director and other personnel as needed to satisfy the record request. Before a search is conducted, the records officer or other personnel may contact the requestor if there are questions concerning the scope of the record request.

  Fees

Fees for time spent retrieving an open record and/or supervising the public examination of an open record may be charged to the requestor of the record in an amount equal to the actual cost of time spent providing non-incidental retrieval and/or supervisory services, as provided under applicable law. Whenever possible, an estimate of fees will be provided to the requestor before a search is initiated.

The actual cost for non-incidental retrieval and/or supervisory services may vary according to the nature of the search that is specified by the requestor. However, non-incidental retrieval and supervisory/copying fees performed by IFA staff, pursuant to a request for records that are accessible inside IFA’s office, will ordinarily be set at $15.00 per hour. Fees for IFA records that are accessible only with the assistance of other agencies or state archives personnel will be based on the fee structure established by those agencies. Requestors are generally billed for fees after their request has been processed. However, if total fees are expected to exceed $250.00, IFA may require payment in advance of processing. 

Photocopies of open records located in this office will be provided at no charge for the first ten pages, and $.10 cents per page for each additional page. If the information requested is available electronically, and if desired by the requestor, the information may be copied to a CD. The charge for a CD is $5.00, plus any retrieval or supervisory fees that apply.

Documents that are available only as hard copies, but which the requestor prefers to receive electronically, will be scanned and saved as one or more PDF files. The cost for scanning such documents will be $.08 cents per page.

Electronic documents (including PDF files) may be sent by e-mail with no delivery charge. Such documents may alternatively, for an additional $5.00 fee, be saved to a CD and picked up at IFA or sent by mail with the cost of shipping added to the invoice. Time involved locating the information may be charged at the supervisory/copying fee of $15.00 per hour.