(visit the link for the full news article)
The Treasury Department wants more than $500,000 to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request, a fee an attorney on the case suggested Tuesday might be one of the largest bills of its kind.
“I have not seen one that has been larger,” said Noah Wood, a Missouri attorney suing the government to comply with his nearly four-year-old FOIA request.
The Treasury Department, Wood said, is “downright telling us where we can stick it.”
Originally posted by ModernAcademia
I wonder where the money went!
makes you wonder of other such programs too
(4)(A)(i) In order to carry out the provisions of this section, each agency shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to notice and receipt of public comment, specifying the schedule of fees applicable to the processing of requests under this section and establishing procedures and guidelines for determining when such fees should be waived or reduced. Such schedule shall conform to the guidelines which shall be promulgated, pursuant to notice and receipt of public comment, by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and which shall provide for a uniform schedule of fees for all agencies.
(ii) Such agency regulations shall provide that--
(I) fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for document search, duplication, and review, when records are requested for commercial use;
(II) fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for document duplication when records are not sought for commercial use and the request is made by an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research; or a representative of the news media; and
(III) for any request not described in (I) or (II), fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for document search and duplication.
(iii) Documents shall be furnished without any charge or at a charge reduced below the fees established under clause (ii) 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 requester.
(iv) Fee schedules shall provide for the recovery of only the direct costs of search, duplication, or review. Review costs shall include only the direct costs incurred during the initial examination of a document for the purposes of determining whether the documents must be disclosed under this section and for the purposes of withholding any portions exempt from disclosure under this section. Review costs may not include any costs incurred in resolving issues of law or policy that may be raised in the course of processing a request under this section. No fee may be charged by any agency under this section--
(I) if the costs of routine collection and processing of the fee are likely to equal or exceed the amount of the fee; or
(II) for any request described in clause (ii)(II) or (III) of this subparagraph for the first two hours of search time or for the first one hundred pages of duplication.
(v) No agency may require advance payment of any fee unless the requester has previously failed to pay fees in a timely fashion, or the agency has determined that the fee will exceed $250.
(vi) Nothing in this subparagraph shall supersede fees chargeable under a statute specifically providing for setting the level of fees for particular types of records.
(vii) In any action by a requester regarding the waiver of fees under this section, the court shall determine the matter de novo, provided that the court's review of the matter shall be limited to the record before the agency.
Originally posted by burdman30ott6
The government said it was charging the “commercial” rate of 20 cents per page plus staff costs, and said the fees could go higher. Media and nonprofits usually are not charged.
It's a 2,523 page document... At $.20 a page, that's $504.60 plus "staff charges." I'm thinking that somehow a decimal place got shifted and the agency "accidentaly" charged $200.00 a page and nobody is willing to admit the mistake. (At $200 a page, the fee would become $504,600... far closer to the $522K they are charging for the information.) I can certainly understand charging the attorney for the information as it is clearly being requested to profit a private entity rather than to benefit the taxpayer or provide general knowledge... but $200 a page seems excessive.
however, please note Section (iii) which states that when it is in the Public Interest, 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, the ability to charge a Reasonable Fee is waived under mandate