Iowa agency ensures open government, transparency

Sitting in a modestly furnished conference room in the Wallace Building, with a bay window view of the State Capitol behind him, Bill Monroe reflects on the workload he expected in the first year with the state's Public Information Board.

The board was created by the state to handle complaints and violations related to open meetings and open records laws, and Monroe served as its chairman from its inception in 2012, including the first year when it had no funding.

Monroe, a former publisher of the Spencer Daily News who fought for the board's creation, assured legislators the board would handle roughly 350 cases per year. Monroe based that figure on information he gathered from other state entities that previously handled open meetings and open records issues, but it was merely an educated guess. He remembers hoping that first year would not break his promise. Continue>>>