The Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) began operations in July, 1986 as a result of state government reorganization. The Department was created to conduct inspections, audits, investigations and contested case hearings for most of state government. In addition, DIA provided administrative and fiscal services for three attached units – Appellate Defender, Foster Care Review Board and Employment Appeal Board. Since 1986, numerous Department structural changes have occurred impacting its operations. These have included:
- July 1987 - The Racing Division was transferred from the Department of Commerce to DIA. The social and charitable gaming functions of the Racing Division were transferred to the Inspections Division at that time.
- July 1988 – Targeted Small Business certification was transferred from the Department of Economic Development to the Audits Division of DIA.
- January 1989 - The local public defender offices were transferred from county government to DIA. These offices, combined with the Appellate Defender Office, became a unit called the State Public Defender’s Office. Since then, there have been four expansions of the State Public Defender system.
- July 1989 - The Racing Division became the Racing and Gaming Commission with the passage of excursion gambling boat regulation legislation.
- July 1989 - The Director of the Department was charged with the power and duty to negotiate agreements or compacts with Indian tribes to implement the policies and objectives of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
- July 1989 – Processing claims from the Indigent Defense Fund became the responsibility of the Department.
- October 1990 – The federal Nursing Home Reform Act changed the survey process for health care facilities, which resulted in additional staffing and responsibility for the Health Facilities Division.
- July 2002 – The Court-Appointed Special Advocate program was transferred to the Department as a part of the Child Advocacy Board, which included the former Foster Care Review Board program.
- July 2003 – Regulatory enforcement of Elder Group Homes, Assisted Living Programs, and Adult Day Services Programs became the statutory responsibility of the Department and was placed in the Adult Services Bureau of the Health Facilities Division.
- July 2007 – Policy development for regulation of Elder Group Homes, Assisted Living Programs, and Adult Day Services Programs became the statutory responsibility of the Department.
Currently, the Department provides services to customers and stakeholders through the following divisions, bureau, and attached units:
- Administration (including the Director's Office)
- Administrative Hearings
- Child Advocacy Board
- Employment Appeal Board
- Food & Consumer Safety Bureau
- Health Facilities
- Hospital Licensing Board
- Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
- State Public Defender