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FOIA Fee Structure and Waivers

FOIA provisions allow us to recover part of the cost of complying with your request.

Fees are assessed in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security FOIA/PA regulations, based on three categories of requestors:

  • Commercial requesters—charged for search time, document review, and duplication
  • News media, educational, and scientific requesters—charged for duplication only after the first 100 pages
  • All other requesters—charged for search time (after two hours) and duplication (the first 100 pages are free)

Current Departmental fees are:

  • duplication at 10 cents per page
  • clerical search/document review at $4.00/15 minutes
  • professional search/document review at $7.00/15 minutes
  • managerial search/document review at $10.25/15 minutes

We do not charge when assessable fees are less than $14.

Your submission of a request will be deemed to be an implicit commitment to pay up to $25 in fees, unless you indicate a higher amount or request a fee waiver (see below).

You will be promptly notified if the anticipated fees exceed $25.

Multiple FOIA requests by a single requester related to the same issue will be aggregated for the purpose of assessing fees.

Request a Fee Waiver

To qualify for a fee waiver, you must include the following information in your request:

  • Demonstrate that disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because 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.

  • Include a detailed justification to support your claim of public interest. Your justification must also include how the information will be provided and distributed to the public.
  • If your fee waiver is rejected, your request will not be processed until you agree to pay fees up to $25 (see more below).

If Your Fee Waiver is Rejected

If your request for a fee waiver is denied, the component will notify you of that
decision and will request an agreement from you to pay fees up to $25, or a
greater or lesser amount specified by you.

Your request shall not be considered received and further work shall not be done on it until you agree to pay fees.

If you do not provide a firm commitment to pay the anticipated fee within the time period specified by the component, the request will be administratively closed.

Last Published Date: September 24, 2015

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