36 CFR § 404.7 - Fees to be charged - general.

§ 404.7 Fees to be charged - general.

ABMC shall charge fees that recoup the full allowable direct costs it incurs. ABMC will collect all applicable fees before sending copies of records to the requester. Moreover, it shall use the most efficient and least costly methods to comply with requests for documents made under the FOIA. ABMC may recover the cost of searching for and reviewing records even if there is ultimately no disclosure of records.

(a) Manual searches for records. ABMC will charge at the salary rate(s) (i.e., basic pay plus 16 percent) of the employee(s) making the search.

(b) Computer searches for records. ABMC will charge at the salary rate(s) (i.e., basic pay plus 16 percent) of the employee(s) making the search. Before assessing fees associated with creating a new computer program, ABMC will ensure that requester is first notified and agrees to pay such fees, pursuant to paragraph (g)(3) of this section.

(c) Review of records. Only requesters who are seeking documents for commercial use may be charged for time spent reviewing records to determine whether they are exempt from mandatory disclosure. Charges may be assessed only for the initial review; i.e., the review undertaken the first time ABMC analyzes the applicability of a specific exemption to a particular record or portion of a record. 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 is assessable.

(d) Duplication of records. Records will be duplicated at a rate of $.10 per page. For copies prepared by computer, such as tapes or printouts, ABMC shall charge the actual cost, including operator time, of production of the tape or printout. For other methods of reproduction or duplication, ABMC will charge the actual direct costs of producing the document(s). If ABMC estimates that duplication charges are likely to exceed $25, it shall notify the requester of the estimated amount of fees, unless the requester has indicated in advance his willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. Such a notice shall offer a requester the opportunity to confer with agency personnel with the object of reformulating the request to meet his or her needs at a lower cost.

(e) Other charges.

(1) When it elects to charge them, ABMC will recover the full costs of providing services such as certifying that records are true copies or sending records by special methods such as express mail.

(2) For requests that require the retrieval of records stored by an agency at a Federal records center operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), ABMC will charge additional costs in accordance with the Transactional Billing Rate Schedule established by NARA.

(f) Payment of fees. 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 order of the Treasury of the United States and mailed to the FOIA Officer, American Battle Monuments Commission, 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22201. A receipt for fees paid will be given upon request.

(g) Restrictions on assessing fees. With the exception of requesters seeking documents for a commercial use, ABMC will provide the first 100 pages of duplication and the first 2 hours of search time without charge. Moreover, ABMC will not charge fees to any requester, including commercial use requesters, if the cost of collecting a fee would be equal to or greater than the fee itself.

(1) The elements to be considered in determining the cost of collecting a fee are the administrative costs of receiving and recording a requester's remittance, and processing the fee for deposit in the Treasury Department's special account.

(2) For purposes of the restrictions on assessment of fees in this paragraph (g), the word pages refers to paper copies of 8 1/2 × 11 or 11 × 14. Thus, requesters are not entitled to 100 microfiche or 100 computer disks, for example. A microfiche containing the equivalent of 100 pages or 100 pages of computer printout, does meet the terms of the restriction.

(3) Similarly, the term search time in this paragraph (g) has as its basis, manual search. To apply this term to searches made by computer, ABMC will determine the hourly cost of operating the central processing unit and the operator's hourly salary plus 16 percent. When the cost of search equals the equivalent dollar amount of two hours of the salary of the person performing the search, i.e., the operator, ABMC will begin assessing charges.