12 CFR 1202.11 - What will it cost to get the records I requested?
(a)Assessment of fees, generally. FHFA will assess you for fees covering the direct costs of responding to your request and costs for duplicating records, except as otherwise provided in a statute with respect to the determination of fees that may be assessed for disclosure, search time, or review of particular records.
(2)Educational institution, noncommercial scientific institution, or representative of the news media. If you are not requesting records for commercial use and you are an educational institution or a noncommercial scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research, or a representative of the news media, the fees that may be assessed are limited to standard reasonable charges for duplication in excess of 100 pages or an electronic equivalent of 100 pages.
(3)Other. If neither paragraph (b)(1) nor paragraph (b)(2) of this section applies, the fees assessed are limited to the costs for document searching in excess of two hours and duplication in excess of 100 pages, or an electronic equivalent of 100 pages.
(c)Fee schedule. FHFA will charge fees for processing requests under the FOIA in accordance with the provisions of this section and OMB guidelines (basic pay plus 16 percent). There are three different groups of grades typically involved in processing FOIA requests: Personnel in grades EL-6 to EL-9; personnel in grades EL-10 to EL-13; and personnel EL-14 and above. FHFA's Web site, www.fhfa.gov, will contain current rates for search and review fees for each group. The rates will be updated as salaries change and will be determined by using the formula in this regulation. The formula is the sum of the mid-point of each grade divided by the number of grades in each category divided by 2088 and then multiplied by 1.16. 1 Fees for searches of computerized records are based on the actual cost to FHFA. For requests that require the retrieval of records stored by FHFA at a Federal records center operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, FHFA will charge additional costs in accordance with the Transaction Billing Rate Schedule established by NARA.
1 Example of the rate formula is as follows: For 2016, EL-6 to EL-9 is [($55,769 $63,554 $71,816 $81,152)/4][1/2088 hours per year][1.16 OMB markup factor] = $37.82 per hour.
(d)Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $100.00. When FHFA determines or estimates that the fees chargeable to you will exceed $100.00, you will be notified of the actual or estimated amount of fees you will incur, unless you earlier indicated your willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. When you are notified that the actual or estimated fees exceed $100.00, your request will be tolled until you agree to pay, in writing, the anticipated total fee.
(e)Advance payment of fees. FHFA may request that you pay estimated fees or a deposit in advance of responding to your request. If FHFA requests advance payment or a deposit, your request will not be considered received by FHFA until the advance payment or deposit is received. FHFA will request advance payment or a deposit if -
(1) The fees are likely to exceed $500.00. FHFA will notify you of the likely cost and obtain from you satisfactory assurance of full payment if you have a history of prompt payment of FOIA fees to FHFA;
(3) You previously failed to pay a fee to FHFA in a timely fashion, i.e., within 30 calendar days of the date of a billing, FHFA may require you to make advance payment of the full amount of the fees anticipated before processing a new request or finishing processing of a pending request; or
(4) You have an outstanding balance due from a prior request. FHFA may require you to pay the full amount owed plus any applicable interest, as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, or demonstrate that the fee owed has been paid, as well as payment of the full amount of anticipated fees before processing your request.
(f)Interest. FHFA may charge you interest on an unpaid bill starting on the 31st calendar day following the day on which the bill was sent. Once a fee payment has been received by FHFA, even if not processed, FHFA will stay the accrual of interest. Interest charges will be assessed at the rate prescribed by 31 U.S.C. 3717 and will accrue from the date of the billing.
(g)FHFA assistance to reduce costs. If FHFA notifies you of estimated fees exceeding $100.00 or requests advance payment or a deposit, you will have an opportunity to consult with FHFA FOIA staff to modify or reformulate your request to meet your needs at a lower cost.
(h)Fee waiver requests. You may request a fee waiver in accordance with the FOIA and this regulation. Requests for a waiver of fees should be made at the time you submit your FOIA request. FHFA may grant your fee waiver request if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the Federal Government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. In submitting a fee waiver request, you must address the following six factors -
(1) Whether the subject of the requested records concerns the operations or activities of the Federal Government;
(2) Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute to an understanding of Federal Government operations or activities;
(3) Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to public understanding;
(4) Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of Federal Government operations or activities;
(6) 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.
(i)Fee Waiver determination. FHFA will notify you within 20 days of receipt of your request whether the fee waiver has been granted. A request for fee waiver that is denied may only be appealed when a final decision has been made on the initial FOIA request.
(j)Restrictions on charging fees. If FHFA fails to comply with the time limits in which to respond to a request, and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA, apply to the processing of the request, FHFA may not charge search fees, or in the instance of requests from requesters described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, may not charge duplication fees. See 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(viii).