38 CFR § 1.526 - Copies of records and papers.

§ 1.526 Copies of records and papers.

(a) Any person desiring a copy of any record or document in the custody of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is subject to be furnished under §§ 1.501 through 1.526, must make written application for such copy to the Department of Veterans Affairs installation having custody of the subject matter desired, stating specifically: (1) The particular record or document the copy of which is desired and whether certified and validated, or uncertified, (2) the purpose for which such copy is desired to be used.

(b) The types of services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs for which fees will be charged are identified in paragraph (i) of this section.

(c) This section applies to the services furnished in paragraph (b) of this section when rendered to members of the public by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It does not apply to such services when rendered to or for other agencies or branches of the Federal Government, or State and local governments when furnishing the service will help to accomplish an objective of the Department of Veterans Affairs, or when performed in connection with a special research study or compilation when the party requesting such services is charged an amount for the whole job.

(d) When copies of a record or document are furnished under §§ 1.506, 1.507, 1.510, and 1.514, such copies shall be supplied without charge. Moreover, free service may be provided, to the extent of one copy, to persons who have been required to furnish original documents for retention by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(e) The following are circumstances under which services may be provided free at the discretion of facility heads or responsible Central Office officials:

(1) When requested by a court, when the copy will serve as a substitute for personal court appearance of a Government witness.

(2) When furnishing the service free saves costs or yields income equal to the direct costs of the agency providing the service. This includes cases where the fee for the service would be included in a billing against the Government (for example, in cost-type contracts, or in the case of private physicians who are treating Government beneficiaries at Government expense).

(3) When a service is occasional and incidental, not of a type that is requested often, and if it is administratively determined that a fee would be inappropriate in such an occasional case.

(f) When information, statistics, or reports are released or furnished under § 1.501 or § 1.519, the fee charge, if any, will be determined upon the merits of each individual application.

(g) In those cases where it is determined that a fee shall be charged, the applicant will be advised to deposit the amount of the lawful charge for the copy desired. The amount of such charge will be determined in accordance with the schedule of fees prescribed in paragraph (i) of this section. The desired copy will not be delivered, except under court subpoena, until the full amount of the lawful charge is deposited. Any excess deposit of $1 or more over the lawful charge will be returned to the applicant. Excess deposits of less than $1 will be returned upon request. When a deposit is received with an application, such a deposit will be returned to the applicant should the application be denied.

(h) Copies of reports or records received from other Government departments or agencies will not be furnished except as provided in § 1.513.

(i) Fees to be charged—(1) Schedule of fees:

Activity Fees
(i) Duplication of document by any type of reproduction process to produce plain one-sided paper copies of a standard size (8 1/2″ × 11″; 8 1/2″ × 14″; 11″ × 14″) $0.15 per page after first 100 one-sided pages.
(ii) Duplication of non-paper records, such as microforms, audiovisual materials (motion pictures, slides, laser optical disks, video tapes, audiotapes, etc.) computer tapes and disks, diskettes for personal computers, and any other automated media output Actual direct cost to the Agency as defined in § 1.555(a)(2) of this part to the extent that it pertains to the cost of duplication.
(iii) Duplication of documents by any type of reproduction process not covered by paragraphs (i)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section to produce a copy in a form reasonably usable by a requester Actual direct cost to the Agency as defined in § 1.555(a)(2) of this part to the extent that it pertains to the cost of duplication.
(iv) Providing special information, statistics, reports, drawings, specifications, lists of names and addresses (either in paper or machine readable form), computer or other machine readable output Actual cost to the Agency including computer and manual search costs, copying costs, labor, and material and overhead expenses.
(v) Attestation under the seal of the Agency $3.00 per document so certified.
(vi) Providing abstracts or copies of medical and dental records to insurance companies for other than litigation purposes $10.00 per request.
(vii) Providing files under court subpoena Actual direct cost to the Agency.

(Note. If VA regularly contracts for duplicating services related to providing the requested records, such as the duplication of microfilm or architect's plans and drawings, the contractor fees may be included in the actual direct cost to the Agency)

(2) Benefit records. When VA benefit records are requested by a VA beneficiary or applicant for VA benefits, the duplication fee for one complete set of such records will be waived.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 5702(b))

(j) If the copy is to be transmitted by certified or registered mail, airmail, or special delivery mail, the postal fees therefor shall be added to the other fees provided in paragraph (i) of this section (or the order must include postage stamps or stamped return envelopes for the purpose).

(k) Those Department of Veterans Affairs installations not having copying equipment are authorized to arrange with the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs installation having such equipment to make the necessary authorized copies of records or documents.

(l) Administration, staff office, and field facility heads are authorized to designate employees to certify copies of records and papers furnished under the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section.

[19 FR 3224, June 2, 1954, as amended at 32 FR 10850, July 25, 1967; 33 FR 9342, June 26, 1968; 35 FR 20001, Dec. 31, 1970; 37 FR 2676, Feb. 4, 1972; 39 FR 3938, Jan. 31, 1974; 53 FR 10376, Mar. 31, 1988; 54 FR 34980, Aug. 23, 1989]