REQUESTS FOR PUBLIC RECORDS
Purpose. This regulation implements Iowa Code chapter 22 regarding access to public records. The purpose of this regulation is to facilitate public access to open records, while safeguarding records against damage or destruction. Open records are those records, documents, tapes, recordings or other information stored or preserved in any medium of or belonging to the District which are not otherwise authorized or required by law to be kept confidential. Records authorized but not required by law to be kept confidential may also be released upon approval of the Superintendent of Schools or upon approval of the Board of Directors.
Location. A request for access to a record should be directed to the Board Secretary or to the particular District office where the record is maintained (for example, to the building principal’s office). If the location of the record is not known by the requester, the request shall be directed to the Board Secretary, 510 Winnebago Street, Decorah, Iowa 52101; telephone 563-382-4208; facsimile 563-387-0753. If a request for access to a record is misdirected, District personnel will promptly forward the request to the appropriate person within the District.
Hours. Open records shall be made available for examination during customary office hours.
Requests. Requests for access to open records may be made in person, in writing (including email), or by telephone. If the request is made in person, the requester shall not be required to identify himself/herself, except insofar as to meet security procedures of the building. Written or telephone requests shall include the name, address and telephone number of the person requesting the record to the extent necessary for the District to respond to or to seek further clarification. All requests shall identify the records in sufficient detail to enable the District to reasonably identify the requested records. A person shall not be required to give a reason for requesting an open record.
Response to Request. Access to an open record shall be promptly provided or denied, except where circumstances, such as the size or nature of the request makes prompt access infeasible or for other extenuating circumstances, such as the custodian of the record is not then available. Access to an open record may be delayed for one of the purposes authorized by Iowa Code section 22.8(4) or 22.10(4) (for example, to ascertain if a record is a public record or to seek opinion of counsel). The custodian of the record shall promptly give notice orally or in writing to the person requesting the record of the reason for the delay and an estimate of the length of the delay.
Copying. A reasonable number of copies of an open record may be made in the District’s office. If copying equipment is not available in the office where an open record is maintained, the custodian shall permit its examination in that office and arrange to have copies promptly made elsewhere.
Security of Records. No person may, without permission from the custodian of the record, search or remove any record from District files. Examination and copying of records shall be supervised by the custodian of the record or a designee of the custodian. Records shall be protected from damage and disorganization.
Fees. No fees shall be charged for a reasonable number of copies of current agendas for meetings of the District’s Board of Directors, for publications the District designates for dissemination to the public free of charge as long as they are still available, or for forms necessary for a person to transact business with the District or to receive an education (such as employment application forms, student enrollment forms, free and reduced priced meal applications, open enrollment or voluntary permit forms).
Copies of records may be made for members of the public on District copy machines or from electronic storage systems at cost. When the mailing of copies of records is requested, the actual costs of such mailing may also be charged to the requester.
An hourly fee may be charged for actual District expenses in retrieving, supervising the examination and copying requested records, which is in addition to the copy fee. In addition, costs for retrieval and copying of public information stored in electronic storage systems may be charged to the requester.
The District is not required to extract, assimilate, or interpret information or data, or to create public records; however, if the District agrees to perform any of these functions, the person making the request may also be charged an hourly fee.
Advance Deposits. When the estimated total fee chargeable exceeds $25.00, or when a requester has previously failed to pay a fee charged under this regulation, the record custodian may require a requester to make an advance deposit to cover all or a part of the estimated fee.
1 – 50 pages: No charge
More than 50 pages: 10 cents per page
(including for pages 1-50)
Retrieval, Supervision, Copying Fee.
1 - 30 minutes: No charge
More than 30 minutes: $30.00 per hour, rounded to the nearest ¼ hour (including for first 30 minutes)
Electronic Storage System Retrieval. Actual costs
If more than $1.00: Actual costs
Other Fees Permitted By Law Actual costs
In making a determination for charges, a series of requests from one person or organization in a 30 day period or a series of requests from persons in a single organization may be aggregated.
To the extent feasible, requests for public records (other than for records required to do business with the District, such as employment applications and student enrollment forms and excepting requests for current Board agendas and for publications designated by the District for public dissemination) will be documented. Documentation serves as confirmation of the District's compliance with the law and with District policy and procedures. The documentation shall not include the name of the person requesting the document if the person requesting the documents has not disclosed his or her name.
Date of Review: July 16, 2018
Date of Revision:
July 16, 2018
DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS Page 3 of 3