Fee Schedule

Categories of Requests

Fees will be charged according to the category of the FOIA request.

  Search Review Duplication
Commercial Use Pays full cost Pays full cost Pays full cost
Educational and Non-commercial Scientific Institutions Does not pay Does not pay Receives first 100 pages free
News Media Does not pay Does not pay Receives first 100 pages free
All Other Requests Receives first two hours of search time free Does not pay Receives first 100 pages free

Categories of Fees

Fees are calculated as follows:

  • Search fees: For manual searches, the fee charged will be the salary rate(s) of the employee(s) conducting the search.  For computer searches, the fee charged will be the actual direct cost of providing the service, including the salary rate(s) of the operator or programmer conducting the search.  The salary rate is calculated as the particular employee’s basic pay plus 16.1 percent.
  • Review fees: Review fees will equal the salary rate(s) (basic pay plus 16.1 percent) of the employee(s) conducting the review.
  • Duplication: Single-sided photocopies will be provided at $.10 per page.  Double-sided photocopies will be provided at $.20 per page.  For duplication of other materials, the charge will be the direct cost of duplication.

The NEA shall use the most efficient and least costly method to comply with requests, and it will inform the requester when charges are expected to be incurred.  The agency may charge search and review fees even if the documents are determined to be exempt from disclosure or cannot be located.  Fees shall not be charged to any requestor, including commercial use requestors, if the cost of collecting a fee would be equal to or greater than the fee itself.

If the agency reasonably believes that a requestor(s) is making multiple requests to avoid the assessment of fees, the agency may aggregate such requests and charge accordingly.

Waiver or Reduction of Fees

Documents shall be furnished without charge or at 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 requestor.

The following factors shall be used to determine whether a fee will be waived or reduced:

  • The subject of the request. Whether the subject concerns "the operations or activities of the government."
  • The informative value of the information to be disclosed. Whether the disclosure is "likely to contribute" to an understanding of government operations or activities.
  • The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure.
  • The significance of the contribution to public understanding of government operations or activities.
  • The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest that would be furthered by the disclosure, and if so, whether the magnitude of the interest is sufficiently large in comparison with the public interest that disclosure is "primarily in the commercial interest of the requester."

Assessment and Collection of Fees

Interest will accrue from the date the bill is mailed if the fee is not paid within thirty (30) days.  Interest will be assessed at the rate prescribed in 31 U.S.C. 3717.

The agency may request an advance payment of the fee if:

  • The allowable charges are likely to exceed $250; or
  • The requestor has failed previously to pay a fee in a timely fashion.

When the agency requests an advance payment, the time limits prescribed in section (a)(6) of the Freedom of Information Act will begin only after the agency has received full payment.