Fee waivers and reductions.
The Committee will waive or reduce fees on requests for information if disclosure of the information is deemed to be in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the Government, and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
In determining when fees shall be waived or reduced, the Committee will consider the following six factors:
The subject of the request, i.e., whether the subject of the requested records concerns “the operations or activities of the Government;”
The informative value of the information to be disclosed, i.e., whether the disclosure is “likely to contribute” to an understanding of Government operations or activities;
The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure, i.e., whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to “public understanding”;
The significance of the contribution to public understanding, i.e., whether the disclosure is likely to contribute “significantly” to public understanding of Government operations or activities;
The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest, i.e., whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and, if so,
The primary interest in disclosure, i.e., whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is “primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”
The Committee may waive or reduce fees associated with a request for disclosure regardless of whether a waiver or reduction has been requested if the Committee determines that disclosure will primarily benefit the general public.
Fees shall be waived in all circumstances where the amount of the fee is $10 or less as the cost of collection would be greater than the fee. This minimum shall be applied separately to each Committee response when it is necessary for the Committee to make more than one response to a request for records.
[54 FR 15189, Apr. 17, 1989. Redesignated at 56 FR 48983, Sept. 26, 1991, and amended at 59 FR 59345, Nov. 16, 1994]