General. Agency records are open for public inspection and
copying unless otherwise provided by rule or law. The office also has
possession of records which may be open records but which are copies of
materials from another agency, which have been filed in judicial or
administrative proceedings, or which are available in the state law library.
This office will often refer persons to the originating agency, the clerk of
the appropriate court, or the law library for those records. This is consistent
with the functions of those entities, ensures that the requester get a clean
official copy of the record, and protects the integrity of attorney files
against unintended disclosures of confidential information.
The following records may be withheld from public inspection. Records are
listed by category, according to the legal basis for withholding them from
a. Tax records made
available to the agency. (Iowa Code sections
b. Records which are exempt from
disclosure under Iowa Code section
c. Minutes of closed meetings of a government
body. (Iowa Code section
d. Identifying details in final orders,
decisions and opinions to the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted
invasion of personal privacy or trade secrets under Iowa Code section 17A. 3
(1) "J. "
Those portions of
agency staff manuals, instructions or other statements issued which set forth
criteria or guidelines to be used by agency staff in auditing, in making
investigations, or in the selection or handling of cases, such as operational
tactics or allowable tolerances or criteria for the defense, prosecution or
settlement of cases, when disclosure of these statements would:
(1) Enable law violators to avoid
(2) Facilitate disregard
of requirements imposed by law; or
(3) Give a clearly improper advantage to
persons who are in an adverse position to the agency. (Iowa Code sections
constitute attorney work product, attorney-client communications, or which are
otherwise privileged. Attorney work product is confidential under Iowa Code
R.C.P. 122(c), Fed. R.Civ.P. 26(b)(3), and case law. Attorney-client
communications are confidential under Iowa Code sections
and 622. 11, the rules of evidence, the Code of Professional Responsibility,
and case law.
g. Records collected
or generated by Iowa civil rights commission staff or commissioners relating to
any step in the civil rights complaint process which contain personally
other records made confidential by law. (Iowa Code section
to release confidential records.
The agency may have discretion to
disclose some confidential records which are exempt from disclosure under Iowa
or other law.
Any person may request permission to inspect these records withheld from
inspection under a statute which authorizes limited or discretionary disclosure
as provided in rule
(17A,22,216). If the agency initially determines that it will release such
records, the agency may, where appropriate, notify interested persons and
withhold the records from inspection as provided in subrule 11.4(3).