43 CFR 2.50 - Federal Register notices describing systems of records.
(a) The bureau will require advance payment before starting further work when it finds the estimated fee is over $250 and:
(1) You have never made a FOIA request to the Department requiring the payment of fees; or
(2) You did not pay a previous FOIA fee within 30 calendar days of the date of billing.
(b) If the bureau believes that you did not pay a previous FOIA fee within 30 calendar days of the date of billing, the bureau will require you to either:
(1) Demonstrate you paid prior fee within 30 calendar days of the date of billing; or
(2) Pay any unpaid amount of the previous fee, plus any applicable interest penalties (see § 2.53 of this subpart), and pay in advance the estimated fee for the new request.
(c) When the bureau notifies you that an advance payment is due, it will give you an opportunity to reduce the fee by modifying the request.
(d) The bureau may require payment before records are sent to you; such a payment is not considered an “advance payment” under § 2.50(a) of this subpart.
(e) If the bureau requires advance payment, it will start further work only after receiving the advance payment. It will also notify you that it will not be able to comply with your FOIA request unless you provide the advance payment. Unless you pay the advance payment within 20 workdays after the date of the bureau's fee letter, the bureau will presume that you are no longer interested and will close the file on the request.