39 CFR 3004.52 - Fees - general provisions.
(a) The Commission may charge search fees even if no records are found or if the records found are exempt from disclosure.
(1) A page for these purposes is a letter- or legal-size sheet, or the equivalent amount of information in a medium other than paper copy.
(2) Search time for these purposes refers to manual searching; if the search is performed by computer, the 2 hours provided without charge will be equal to 2 hours' salary of the person performing the search.
(c) No requester will be charged a fee when the Commission determines that the cost of collecting the fee would equal or exceed the fee itself. In determining whether cost of collection would equal or exceed the fee, the allowance for 2 hours' search or 100 pages of duplication will be made before comparing the remaining fee and the cost of collection.
(d) Records will be provided without charge or at a reduced charge if 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 is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
(1) The Commission extends the time limit for its response due to unusual circumstances, pursuant to § 3004.45(a), and the Commission completes its response within the extension of time provided under that section; or
(2) The Commission extends the time limit for its response due to unusual circumstances and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request and the Commission has discussed with the requester how they could effectively limit the scope of the request or made at least three good faith attempts to do so; or
(3) A court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist and excused the Commission from responding by court order.
(f) The Commission may, however, charge fees for review, and in some cases duplication, for a partial grant of a request while it reviews records that may be exempt and may be responsive to the request, so long as the partial grant is made within the applicable time limits.