29 CFR § 70.38 - Definitions related to costs.

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§ 70.38 Definitions related to costs.

The following definitions apply to this subpart:

(a) Request, in this subpart, includes any request, as defined by § 70.2(f) of this part.

(b) Direct costs means those expenditures which a component actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and in the case of commercial use requests, reviewing) records to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs include, for example, the salary of the Federal employee performing work (the basic rate of pay for the Federal employee plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating duplication machinery. Not included in direct costs are overhead expenses such as costs of space, heating or lighting the facility in which the records are kept.

(c) Duplication means the process of making a copy of a record necessary to respond to a request. Such copy can take the form of paper, microform, audio-visual materials or electronic records (such as a CD or other media).

(d) Search means the process of looking for and retrieving records or information that are responsive to a FOIA 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. FOIA components will ensure that searches are done in the most efficient and least expensive manner reasonably possible. A search does not include the review of material, as defined in paragraph (e) of this section, which is performed to determine whether material is exempt from disclosure.

(e) Review means the process of examining records, including audio-visual, electronic mail, etc., located in response to a request to determine whether any portion of the located record is exempt from disclosure, and accordingly may be withheld. It also includes the act of preparing materials for disclosure, i.e., doing all that is necessary to excise them and otherwise prepare them for release. Review time includes time spent contacting any submitter, and considering and responding to any objections to disclosure made by a submitter under Sec. 70.26, but does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

(f) Commercial use request means 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 considering fee issues, components will determine, whenever reasonably possible, the use to which a requester will put the requested records. When it appears that the requester will put the records to a commercial use, either because of the nature of the request itself or because a component has reasonable cause to doubt a requester's stated use, the component will provide the requester a reasonable opportunity to submit further clarification.

(g) Educational institution means an institution which:

(1) Is a preschool, public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, or an institution of vocational education; or

(2) Operates a program or programs of scholarly research. To qualify under this definition, the program of scholarly research in connection with which the information is sought must be carried out under the auspices of the academic institution itself as opposed to the individual scholarly pursuits of persons affiliated with an institution. For example, a request from a professor predicated upon research funding granted to the institution would meet its requirements. A request from a professor seeking information that will assist in the writing of a book, independent of his or her institutional responsibilities, would not qualify under this definition.

(h) Non-commercial 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.

(i) Representative of the news media means any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations that broadcast “news” to the public at large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate “news” and make their products available through a variety of means to the general public, as well as news organizations that operate solely on the internet. Alternative media may be considered to be news media entities. These examples are not all inclusive.

(1) Factors indicating status as a news media representative include press accreditation, guild membership, a history of continuing publication, business registration, and/or Federal Communication Commission licensing, among others.

(2) For purposes of this definition, news contemplates information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public.

(3) A freelance journalist will be treated as a representative of the news media if the person can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication of matters related to the requested information through a news media entity. A publication contract with a news media entity satisfies this requirement. An individual's past publication record with such organizations is also relevant in making this determination.