Making Requests | Exemptions | Response Time | Appeals | Reading Room
The FOIA office can charge fees for processing FOIA requests. Therefore, specify the
fee category in which you feel your request falls and the amount you are willing to pay.
The FOIA divides requesters into four categories:
- Commercial requesters, who may be charged fees for searching for documents,
reviewing the documents, and duplication.
- Educational or noncommercial scientific institutions, which may be charged only for
duplication, minus the first 100 pages.
- Representatives of the news media, who may be charged only for duplication, minus
the first 100 pages.
- All other requesters, who may be charged fees for searching for documents and
duplication, minus the first 2 hours of search time and the first 100 pages.
No charge will be made if the cost of collecting a fee would be equal to or greater
than the fee itself; for USDA this amount is $25. In cases where no documents are located,
the Agency is entitled to charge the requester for any applicable search time involved.
Fee waivers may be granted when disclosure of the documents is in the public interest
and 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
requester. When making a request for a fee waiver, consider the following:
- Does the document concern the operations or activities of the government?
- Is disclosure likely to contribute to the public understanding of these operations
and activities? and
- Will that contribution be significant?
Requests for fee waivers must be fully documented and
justified by a written explanation.
For more information, contact
Bill Crews, FOIA Officer
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20250