13 CFR 102.6 - Fees.
(a) In general. SBA will charge fees for processing requests as outlined in this section. Fees must be paid by check or money order made payable to SBA.
(b) Definitions and applicable fees. For purposes of this section:
(1) Direct costs means those expenses that SBA actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial use requesters, reviewing) documents in response to an FOIA request. Direct costs include the salary of the employee performing the work and the cost of operating duplication machinery.
(2) Search means the process of looking for and retrieving records 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. SBA may charge search fees even if they fail to locate records or if records located are determined to be exempt from disclosure. Search fees are $30 per hour.
(3) Duplication means the making of a copy of a record. Copies can take the form of paper, microfilm, audiovisual materials, or electronic records (for example, magnetic tape or disk), among others. SBA will charge $.10 per page for photocopy duplication and the actual cost for other methods. SBA will honor a requester's specified preference of form or format of disclosure if the record is readily reproducible with reasonable efforts in the requested form or format by the office responding to the request.
(4) Review refers to the examination of documents responsive to a request in order to determine whether any portion of it is exempt from disclosure. It includes processing any record for disclosure, e.g., all necessary redaction and preparation for disclosure. It also includes time spent considering any formal objection to disclosure made by a business submitter under § 102.7, but does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions. Review costs are recoverable even if a record is ultimately not disclosed. Only commercial use requesters are assessed review costs. Review costs are $30 per hour.
(5) A commercial use request refers to a request from or on behalf of a person who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers his or her commercial, trade or profit interests, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. When it appears the requester will put the requested records to a commercial use, either because of the nature of the request itself or where SBA has reasonable cause to doubt a requester's stated use, SBA will seek additional clarification. SBA will charge commercial use requesters the full direct costs of searching for, reviewing for release, and duplicating the records sought.
(6) Educational institution means a state-certified preschool, elementary or secondary school; an accredited college or university; an accredited institution of professional education; or any accredited or state-certified institution of vocational education that operates a program of scholarly research. An educational institution requester must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought to further scholarly research. SBA will provide documents to requesters in this category for the cost of reproduction alone, excluding charges for the first 100 pages.
(7) Noncommercial scientific institution means an institution that is not operated on a commercial basis, 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. A noncommercial scientific institution requester must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought to further scientific research. SBA will charge noncommercial scientific institution requesters for the cost of reproduction alone after the first 100 pages.
(8) A representative of the news media is a requester actively gathering information for one or more news media who:
(i) Is employed by a news medium or
(ii) Has a reasonable expectation of selling the information obtained to one or more news media. A news medium is an entity organized and operated to distribute information to the general public. A news medium may provide information by subscription and may target its dissemination to a narrow section of the general public so long as any member of the general public may purchase information from it. A request for records supporting the news dissemination function of the requester shall not be considered to be for commercial use. A news media requester must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying news medium and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought to further the dissemination of information to the general public. SBA will provide documents to representatives of the news media for the cost of reproduction alone, excluding charges for the first 100 pages.
(9) A member of the general public is a requester who does not fit into any of the categories in paragraphs (b)(1) through (8) of this section. SBA will charge requesters in this category search time after the first two hours and duplication after the first 100 pages.
(c) Other charges. SBA will recover the full costs of providing special services, such as certifying that records are true copies or sending copies by other than ordinary mail, to the extent that SBA elects to provide them.
(d) Charging interest. SBA will charge interest on any unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the date of billing. Interest charges will accrue at the maximum rate allowed under 31 U.S.C. 3717. If still unpaid by the 91st day after the billing date, SBA may notify consumer credit reporting agencies of the delinquency and/or take other appropriate action in accordance with law.
(e) Fee waivers or reductions. SBA will furnish responsive records without charge or at a reduced charge when a requester can show that 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 government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
(1) You must submit a request for a fee waiver or reduction to the initial processing office.
(2) On the basis of the information that you provide, the initial processing office will determine whether you meet the fee waiver requirements outlined in this section.