Fees and Waivers
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows agencies to charge requesters fees for processing FOIA requests. These fees cover only the full allowable direct costs of search, duplication, and review. No fees will be charged when the average cost of collecting the fee (calculated at $5.00) exceeds the amount of the fee. If you are concerned about costs, the FOIA staff will give you an estimate of what your fees will be before they process your request.
The Board may assume that a person requesting records under FOIA will pay the applicable fees unless the request includes a limitation on fees to be paid or seeks a waiver or reduction of fees as appropriate. The fees assessed depend upon the intended use for the records requested. In determining which category is appropriate, the Board considers the intended use described in the request for records. When a requester's description of the use is insufficient to make a determination, the Board may seek additional clarification before categorizing the request.
- Advance notification of fees. If the estimated charges are likely to exceed $100, the FOIA Office will notify the requester of the estimated amount, unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. The deadline for processing and responding to requests will be suspended until the fee issue is resolved.
- Advance payments. The Board may require advance payment of any fee estimated to exceed $250. The Board may also require full payment in advance when a requester has previously failed to pay a fee. The deadline for processing and responding to requests will be suspended until the fee issue is resolved.
- Late charges. The Board may assess interest charges when fee is not paid within 30 days of the date on which the bill was sent.
Fees for search and review may be charged even if no documents in response to the request are located or if the request is denied. A requester may not file multiple requests at the same time to avoid payment of fees.
- If a waiver is requested and the requester has not indicated in writing an agreement to pay the applicable fees if the waiver request is denied, the time for response to the request for documents will not begin until a waiver has been granted or, if the waiver is denied, until the requester has agreed to pay applicable fees.
- The Board will grant a waiver or reduction of fees when it is determined both that the disclosure is in the public interest and that it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
The fees assessed depend upon the intended use for the records requested. In determining which category is appropriate, the Board will look to the intended use set forth in the request for records.
Photocopy, per standard page $0.10
Paper copies of microfiche, per frame $0.10
Duplicate microfiche, per microfiche $0.35
Search and review
Clerical or technical, hourly rate $20.00
Professional or supervisory, hourly rate $38.00
Manager or senior professional, hourly rate $65.00
Computer search and production
Computer operator search, hourly rate $32.00
Tapes (cassette), per tape $6.00
Tapes (cartridge), per tape $9.00
Tapes (reel), per tape $18.00
Diskettes (3-1/2¢¢), per diskette $4.00
Diskettes (5-1/4¢¢), per diskette $5.00
Computer output (PC), per minute $0.10
Computer output (mainframe), actual cost
Categories of use
The fees for search, duplication, and review apply when records are requested for commercial use.
Education, research, or media
The fees for duplication apply when records are not sought for commercial use and the requester is a representative of the news media or an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research. The first 100 pages of duplication will be provided free.
For all other requests, the fees for document search and duplication apply. The first two hours of search time and the 100 pages of duplication will be provided free.