43 CFR 2.45 - Purpose and scope.

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§ 2.45 When will the bureau waive fees?

(a) The bureau will release records responsive to a request without charge (in other words, it will give you a full fee waiver) or at a reduced charge (in other words, it will give you a partial fee waiver, as discussed further in paragraph (b) of this section) if the bureau determines, based on all available information, that you have demonstrated (by addressing and meeting each of the criteria listed in § 2.48 of this subpart) that disclosing the information is:

(1) In the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations or activities, and

(2) Not primarily in your commercial interest.

(b) A partial fee waiver may be appropriate if some but not all of the requested records are likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government.

(c) When deciding whether to waive or reduce fees, the bureau will rely on the fee waiver justification submitted in your request letter. If the letter does not include sufficient justification, the bureau will deny the fee waiver request. The bureau may, at its discretion, request additional information from you (see § 2.51 of this subpart).

(d) The burden is on you to justify entitlement to a fee waiver. Requests for fee waivers are decided on a case-by-case basis under the criteria discussed above in paragraph (a) of this section and § 2.48 of this subpart. If you have received a fee waiver in the past, that does not mean you are automatically entitled to a fee waiver for every request submitted.

(e) Discretionary fee waivers are addressed in § 2.56 of this subpart.

(f) The bureau must not make value judgments about whether the information at issue is “important” enough to be made public; it is not the bureau's role to attempt to determine the level of public interest in requested information.

[77 FR 76906, Dec. 31, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 11130, Mar. 3, 2016]

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