29 CFR § 2201.9 - Waiver of fees.
(a) General. The FOIA Disclosure Officer shall waive part or all of the fees assessed under § 2201.8(b) if two conditions are satisfied: 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 disclosure is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Where the FOIA Disclosure Officer 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 FOIA Disclosure Officer may seek clarification from the requester before assigning the request to a specific category for fee assessment purposes. The FOIA Disclosure Officer shall afford the requester the opportunity to show that the requester comes within these two conditions. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the two conditions are satisfied:
(1) Whether the subject of the requested records concerns the operations or activities of the government;
(2) Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations or activities;
(3) Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and, if so, 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.
(b) Partial waiver of fees. If the two conditions stated in paragraph (a) of this section are met, the FOIA Disclosure Officer will ordinarily waive all fees. In exceptional cases, however, only a partial waiver may be granted if the request for records would impose an exceptional burden or require an exceptional expenditure of Commission resources, and the request for a waiver minimally satisfies the “public interest” requirement in paragraph (a) of this section.
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