32 CFR § 2402.8 - Fees.

§ 2402.8 Fees.

(a) Fees generally required. OSTP shall use the most efficient and least costly methods to comply with requests for documents made under FOIA. OSTP shall charge fees in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section unless fees are waived in accordance with § 2402.9.

(b) Calculation of fees. In general, fees for searching, reviewing, and duplication will be based on the direct costs of these services, including the average hourly salary (base plus locality payment plus 16 percent) for the employee(s) making the search.

(1) Search fee. Search fees may be charged even if responsive documents are not located or if they are located but withheld on the basis of an exemption. However, search fees shall be limited or not charged as follows:

(i) Easily identifiable records. Search fees shall not be charged for records that are identified by the requester by title of the record and name of the person possessing the record

(ii) Educational, scientific or news media requests. No search fee shall be charged if the request is not sought for a commercial use and is made by an educational or scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research, or by a representative of the news media.

(iii) Other non-commercial requests. No search fee shall be charged for the first two hours of searching if the request is not for a commercial use but is not by an educational or scientific institution, or a representative of the news media.

(iv) Requests for records about self. No search fee shall be charged to search for records performed under the terms of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(5).

(2) Review fee. A review fee shall be charged only for commercial requests. A review fee shall be charged for the initial examination of documents located in response to a request to determine the documents may be withheld from disclosure and for the redaction of document portions exempt from disclosure. Records or portions of records withheld in full under an exemption that is subsequently determined not to apply may be reviewed again to determine the applicability of other exemptions not previously considered. The costs for such a subsequent review are also assessable.

(3) Duplication fee. Records will be photocopied at a rate of $0.10 per page. For other methods of reproduction or duplication, OSTP will charge the actual direct costs of producing the document(s). Duplication fees shall not be charged for the first 100 pages of copies unless the copies are requested for a commercial use.

(c) Aggregation of requests. When OSTP determines that a requester, or a group of requesters acting in concert, is attempting to evade the assessment of fees by submitting multiple requests in the place of a single more complex request, OSTP may aggregate any such requests and charge accordingly.

(d) Fees likely to exceed $25. If the total fee charges are likely to exceed $25, OSTP shall notify the requester of the estimated amount of the charges. The estimate shall include a breakdown of the fees for search, review, and/or duplication. The notification shall offer the requester an opportunity to confer with the FOIA Public Liaison to reformulate the request to meet the requester's needs at a lower cost.

(e) Advance payments. Advance payment of fees will generally not be required. If, however, charges are likely to exceed $250, OSTP shall notify the requester of the likely cost and:

(1) Obtain satisfactory assurance of full payment; or

(2) Regardless of when a FOIA request becomes perfected under § 2402.4(c), if the requester has no history of payment or has failed to pay a fee within 30 days of the date of billing, OSTP may require the requester to pay the full amount of any fees owed and/or to make an advance payment of the full amount of the estimated charges before OSTP begins to process the new request or a pending request from that requester. In this case, OSTP's working days to process the request as described in § 2402.5 will not begin to run until the date OSTP receives the full amount of any fees owed and/or the advance payment of the full amount of the estimated charges.

(f) Other charges. OSTP will recover the full costs of providing services such as those enumerated below when it elects to provide them:

(1) Certifying that records are true copies;

(2) Sending records by special methods such as express mail.

(g) Remittances. Remittances shall be in the form either of a personal check or bank draft drawn on a bank in the United States, or a postal money order. Remittances shall be made payable to the Treasury of the United States and mailed to the Chief FOIA Officer, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, 1650 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20504. Updates to this contact information will be made on the OSTP Web site.

(h) Receipts and refunds. A receipt for fees paid will be given upon request. A refund of fees paid for services actually rendered will not be made.