For the purpose of these regulations:
All the terms defined in the Freedom of Information Act apply.
A statute specifically providing for setting the level of fees for particular types of records (5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(vi)) means any statute that specifically requires a government agency, such as the Government Printing Office (GPO) or the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), to set the level of fees for particular types of records, in order to:
Serve both the general public and private sector organizations by conveniently making available government information;
Ensure that groups and individuals pay the cost of publications and other services that are for their special use so that these costs are not borne by the general taxpaying public;
Operate an information dissemination activity on a self-sustaining basis to the maximum extent possible; or
Return revenue to the Treasury for defraying, wholly or in part, appropriated funds used to pay the cost of disseminating government information.
Statutes, such as the User Fee Statute, which only provide a general discussion of fees without explicitly requiring that an agency set and collect fees for particular documents do not supersede the Freedom of Information Act under section (a)(4)(A)(vi) of that statute.
The term direct costs means those expenditures that OMB actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and in the case of commercial requesters, reviewing) documents to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs include, for example, the salary of the employee performing work (the basic rate of pay for the employee plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating duplicating machinery. Not included in direct costs are overhead expenses such as costs of space, and heating or lighting the facility in which the records are stored.
The term search means the process of looking for and retrieving records or information responsive to a request. It includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within records and also includes reasonable efforts to locate and retrieve information from records maintained in electronic form or format. OMB employees should ensure that searching for material is done in the most efficient and least expensive manner so as to minimize costs for both the agency and the requester. For example, employees should not engage in line-by-line search when merely duplicating an entire document would prove the less expensive and quicker method of complying with a request. Search should be distinguished, moreover, from review of material in order to determine whether the material is exempt from disclosure (see paragraph (f) of this section).
The term duplication means the making of a copy of a document, or of the information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Such copies can take the form of paper, microform, audio-visual materials, or electronic records (e.g., magnetic tape or disk), among others. The requester's specified preference of form or format of disclosure will be honored if the record is readily reproducible in that format.
The term review refers to the process of examining documents located in response to a request that is for a commercial use (see paragraph (g) of this section) to determine whether any portion of any document located is permitted to be withheld. It also includes processing any documents for disclosure, e.g., doing all that is necessary to excise them and otherwise prepare them for release. Review does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.
The term ‘commercial use’ request refers to a request from or on behalf of one who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person on whose behalf the request is made. In determining whether a requester properly belongs in this category, OMB must determine the use to which a requester will put the documents requested. Moreover, where an OMB employee has reasonable cause to doubt the use to which a requester will put the records sought, or where that use is not clear from the request itself, the employee should seek additional clarification before assigning the request to a specific category.
The term educational institution refers to a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of professional education, or an institution of vocational education, that operates a program or programs of scholarly research.
The term non-commercial scientific institution refers to an institution that is not operated on a commercial basis (as that term is referenced in paragraph (g) of this section), and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry.
The term representative of the news media refers to any peson actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. The term news means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large, and publishers of periodicals (but only in those instances when they can qualify as disseminators of news) who make their products available for purchase or subscription by the general public. These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive. Moreover, as traditional methods of news delivery evolve (e.g., electronic dissemination of newspapers through telecommunications services), such alternative media would be included in this category. In the case of freelance journalists, they may be regarded as working for a news organization if they can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through that organization, even though not actually employed by it. A publication contract would be the clearest proof, but OMB may also look to the past publication record of a requester in making this determination.
[52 FR 49153, Dec. 30, 1987, as amended at 63 FR 20515, Apr. 27, 1998]