12 CFR 1202.11 - What will it cost to get the records I requested?

§ 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.

(b)Assessment of fees, categories of requesters. The fees that FHFA may assess vary depending on the type of request or the type of requester you are -

(1)Commercial use. If you request records for a commercial use, the fees that FHFA may assess are limited to FHFA's operating costs incurred for document search, review, and duplication.

(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 $25.00. When FHFA determines or estimates that the fees chargeable to you will exceed $25.00, 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 $25.00, 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 be tolled by FHFA until the advance payment or deposit is received. FHFA may request advance payment or a deposit if -

(1) The fees are likely to exceed $250.00;

(2) You do not have a history of payment;

(3) You previously failed to pay a FOIA fee to FHFA in a timely fashion, i.e., within 30 calendar days of the date of a billing; or

(4) You have an outstanding balance due from a prior request. FHFA will 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 must be made in writing and should be made at the time you submit your FOIA request. However, your fee waiver may be submitted at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. FHFA may grant your fee waiver request or a reduction of fees 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 your commercial interest. 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. The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal Government with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated;

(2) Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute significantly to the public understanding of Federal Government operations or activities. This factor is satisfied when the following criteria are met:

(i) Disclosure of the requested information must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not be meaningfully informative if nothing new would be added to the public's understanding; and

(ii) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to your individual understanding. Your expertise in the subject area as well as your ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public must be considered. FHFA will presume that a representative of the news media will satisfy this consideration.

(3) The disclosure must not be primarily in your commercial interest. To determine whether disclosure of the requested information is primarily in your commercial interest FHFA will consider the following criteria:

(i) FHFA will determine whether you have any commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. A commercial interest includes any commercial, trade, or profit interest. You will be given an opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration; and

(ii) If there is an identified commercial interest, FHFA will determine whether that is the primary interest furthered by the request.

(i)Fee Waiver determination. FHFA will notify you within 20 days of receipt of your request whether the fee waiver has been granted. Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver will be granted for those records. For those records that do not satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, you may be charged for those records. When you have committed to pay fees and subsequently ask for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, you must pay any costs incurred up to the date the fee waiver request was received. 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.

(1) When FHFA determines that you are an educational institution, non-commercial scientific institution, or representative of the news media, and the records are not sought for commercial use, FHFA will not charge search fees.

(2)

(i) If FHFA fails to comply with the FOIA's time limits in which to respond to your request, FHFA will not charge search fees, or, in the instances of requests from requesters described in paragraph (j)(1) of this section, will not charge duplication fees, except as described in paragraphs (j)(2)(ii) through (iv) of this section.

(ii) If FHFA has determined that unusual circumstances as defined by the FOIA apply and FHFA has provided timely written notice to you in accordance with the FOIA, FHFA's failure to comply with the time limit will be excused for an additional 10 days.

(iii) If FHFA determines that unusual circumstances, as defined by the FOIA, apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to your request, FHFA may charge search fees, or, in the case of a requester described in paragraph (j)(1) of this section, may charge duplication fees, if the following steps are taken. FHFA must have provided timely written notice of unusual circumstances to you in accordance with the FOIA and FHFA must have discussed with you via written mail, email, or telephone (or made not less than three good-faith attempts to do so) how you could effectively limit the scope of your request in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(ii). If this exception is satisfied, FHFA may charge all applicable fees incurred in the processing of the request.

(iv) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist, as defined by the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limits shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

(3) No search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review.

(4) If you seek records for a commercial use, FHFA will provide without charge:

(i) The first 100 pages of duplication (or the cost equivalent for other media); and

(ii) The first two hours of search.

(5) No fee will be charged when the total fee, after deducting the 100 free pages (or its cost equivalent) and the first two hours of search, is equal to or less than $25.00.

(k)Additional resource. The FOIA Public Liaison or other FOIA contact is available to assist you in modifying or reformulating a request to meet your needs at a lower cost. FHFA will also notify you of the availability of OGIS to provide dispute resolution service.

[ 82 FR 13745, Mar. 15, 2017, as amended at 83 FR 5684, Feb. 9, 2018]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 12 - BANKS AND BANKING
Statutes at Large
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12600

Executive Order ... 13392

Title 12 published on 16-Mar-2018 03:52

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 12 CFR Part 1202 after this date.

  • 2018-02-09; vol. 83 # 28 - Friday, February 9, 2018
    1. 83 FR 5681 - Freedom of Information Act Implementation
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY
      Final rule.
      The final regulation is effective on February 9, 2018. For additional information, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
      12 CFR Part 1202