43 CFR 2.48 - Standards for maintenance of records subject to the Act.

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§ 2.48 How will the bureau evaluate your fee waiver request?

(a) In deciding whether your fee waiver request meets the requirements of § 2.45(a)(1) of this subpart, the bureau will consider the criteria listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4) of this section. You must address and meet each of these criteria in order to demonstrate that you are entitled to a fee waiver.

(1) How the records concern the operations or activities of the Federal government.

(2) How disclosure is likely to contribute to public understanding of those operations or activities, including:

(i) How the contents of the records are meaningfully informative;

(ii) The logical connection between the content of the records and the operations or activities;

(iii) How disclosure will contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to your individual understanding;

(iv) Your identity, vocation, qualifications, and expertise regarding the requested information and information that explains how you plan to disclose the information in a manner that will be informative to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to your individual understanding

(v) Your ability and intent to disseminate the information to a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject (for example, how and to whom do you intend to disseminate the information). If we have categorized you as a representative of the news media under § 2.38, we will presume you have this ability and intent.

(3) How disclosure is likely to significantly contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to your individual understanding, including:

(i) Whether the information being requested is new;

(ii) Whether the information would confirm or clarify data that has been released previously;

(iii) How disclosure will increase the level of public understanding of the operations or activities of the Department or a bureau that existed prior to disclosure; and

(iv) Whether the information is already publicly available. If the Government previously has published the information you are seeking or it is routinely available to the public in a library, reading room, through the Internet, or as part of the administrative record for a particular issue, it is less likely that there will be a significant contribution from release.

(4) How the public's understanding of the subject in question will be enhanced to a significant extent by the disclosure.

(b) In deciding whether the fee waiver meets the requirements in § 2.45(a)(2) of this subpart, the bureau will consider any commercial interest of yours that would be furthered by the requested disclosure.

(1) You are encouraged to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.

(2) The bureau will not find that disclosing the requested information will be primarily in your commercial interest where the public interest is greater than any identified commercial interest in disclosure.

(3) If you do have a commercial interest that would be furthered by disclosure, explain how the public interest in disclosure would be greater than any commercial interest you or your organization may have in the documents.

(i) Your identity, vocation, and intended use of the requested records are all factors to be considered in determining whether disclosure would be primarily in your commercial interest.

(ii) If you are a representative of a news media organization seeking information as part of the news gathering process, we will presume that the public interest outweighs your commercial interest.

(iii) If you represent a business/corporation/association or you are an attorney representing such an organization, we will presume that your commercial interest outweighs the public interest unless you demonstrate otherwise.

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

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