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FOIA: Fees

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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

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?

Note:

Requests for fee waivers must be fully documented and justified by a written explanation.

Contact Information

For more information, contact
Bill Crews, FOIA Officer
USDA-RMA-PSS
Stop 0821
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20250
Phone: 202-720-9507
Fax: 202-720-1162