22 CFR § 1102.4 - Fees.

§ 1102.4 Fees.

(a) The following shall be applicable with respect to services rendered to members of the public under this subpart:

(1) Fee schedule.

(i) Searching for records, per hour or fraction thereof per individual:

Includes the salary of the category of employee who actually performs the search, plus an additional 16% of that rate to cover benefits.

(ii) The cost for computer searches will be calculated based on the salary of the category of employee who actually performs the computer search, plus 16% of that rate to cover benefits, plus the direct costs of the central processing unit, input-output devices, and memory capacity of the actual computer configuration.

(iii) Reproduction fees:

Pages no larger than 8 1/2 by 14 inches when reproduced by routine electrostatic copying: $0.10 per page.

Pages requiring reduction, enlargement, or other special services will be billed at direct cost to the Section.

Reproduction by other than routine electrostatic copying will be billed at direct cost to the Section.

(iv) Certification of each record as a true copy - $1.00

(v) Certification of each record as a true copy under official seal - $1.50

(vi) For each signed statement of negative result of search for record - $1.00

(vii) For each signed statement of nonavailability of record - $1.00

(viii) Duplication of architectural photographs and drawings:

Available tracing or reproducible, per square foot
If intermediate nagative and reproducible required
Plus tracing per square foot

(ix) Postage and handling. It will be up to the person requesting the records or information to designate how the material will be mailed or shipped. In the absence of such instructions no records or information will be sent to a foreign address, and records and information will be sent to domestic addresses utilizing first class certified mail, return receipt requested and will be billed at direct cost to the Section.

(2) Only requesters who are seeking documents for commercial use will be charged for time spent reviewing records to determine whether thay are exempt from mandatory disclosure. The cost for review will be calculated based on the salary of the category of the employee who actually performed the review plus 16% of the rate to cover benefits. Charges will be assessed only for the initial review (i.e., review undertaken the first time in order to analyze the applicability of specific exemption(s) to a particular record or portion of record) and not review at the administrative appeal level of the exemption(s) already applied.

(3) If records requested under this part are stored elsewhere than the headquarters of the U.S. Section, IBWC, 4171 North Mesa, EL Paso, TX, the special cost of returning such records to the headquarters shall be include in the search costs. These costs will be computed at the actual costs of transportation of either a person or the requested record between the place where the record is stored and the Section headquarters when, for time or other reasons, it is not feasible to rely on Government mail service.

(4) When no specific fee has been established for a service, or the request for a service does not fall under one of the above categories due to the amount or size or type thereof, the FOIA Officer is authorized to establish an appropriate fee, pursuant to the criteria established in Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-25, entitled “User Charges.”

(b) Where it is anticipated that the fees chargeable under this part will amount to more than $25 and the requester has not indicated in advance her/his willingness to pay fees as high as anticipated, the requester shall be promptly notified of the amount of the anticipated fees or such portion thereof as can readily be estimated. The notice or request for an advance deposit shall extend an offer to the requester to confer with knowledgeable Section personnel in an attempt to reformulate the request in a manner which will reduce the fees and meet the needs of the requester. Dispatch of such notice or request shall suspend the running of the period for response by the Section until a reply is received from the requester.

(c) Search costs are due and payable even if the record which was requested cannot be located after all reasonable efforts have been made, or if the Section determines that a record which has been requested, but which is exempt from disclosure under this part, is to be withheld.

(d) The Section will begin assessing interest charges on an unpaid bill starting the 31st day following the day on which the billing was sent. The accrual of interest will be stayed upon receipt of the fee, rather than upon its processing by the Section. Interest will at the rate precribed in section 3717 of title 31 U.S.C.

(e) A requester may not file multiple requests at the same time, each seeking portions of a document or documents, solely in order to avoid payment of fees. When the Section reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to break a request down into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the assessment of fees, the Section will aggregate any such requests and charge accordingly.

(f) The Section will not require a requester to make an advance payment, i.e., payment before work is commenced or continued on a request, unless:

(1) The Section estimates or determines that allowable charges that a requester may be required to pay are likely to exceed $250. Then the Section will notify the requester of the likely costs and obtain satisfactory assurance of full payment where the requester has a history of prompt payment of FOIA fees, or require an advance payment of an amount up to the full estimated charges in the case of requesters with no history of payment; or

(2) Requesters who have previously failed to pay fees charged in a timely fashion (i.e., within 30 days of the date of the billing), the Section will require such requesters to pay the full amount owed plus any applicable interest as provided above or demonstrate that they have, in fact, paid the fee, and to make an advance payment of the full amount of the estimated fee before the agency begins to process new requests or pending requests from such requesters.

When the Section acts under paragraph (f) (1) or (2) of this section, the administrative time limit prescribed in subsection (a)(6) of the FOIA (i.e., 10 working days from receipt of initial requests plus permissible extensions of that time limit) will begin only after the Section has received payments described above.

(g) In accordance with the provisions and authorities of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365), the Section reserves the right to disclose information to consumer reporting agencies and to use collection agencies, where appropriate, to encourage repayment.

(h) No fees under $10 will be billed by the Section because the cost of collection would be greater than the fee.

(i) Requester should pay fees by check or money order made out to the U.S. Section, International Boundary and Water Commission, and mailed to the Finance and Accounting Office, United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission, 4171 North Mesa, suite C-310, El Paso, TX 79902-1422.