303.13 Fees.§ 303.13 Fees.
(a) For information routinely provided by the Peace Corps to the public in the normal course of doing business, such as informational or recruiting brochures, no fees will be charged.
(b) For each commercial use request, fees will be limited to reasonable standard charges for document search, review, and duplication.
(c) For each request for records sought by a representative of the news media or by an educational or non-commercial scientific institution, fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for document duplication after the first 100 pages.
(d) For all other requests, fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for search time after the first 2 hours and duplication after the first 100 pages.
(e) The schedule of reasonable standard charges for services regarding the production or disclosure of the Peace Corps records is as follows:
(1) Manual search and review of records: Salary rate of employee[s] performing the search and review plus 16%. Charges for search and review time less than a full hour will be billed by quarter-hour segments;
(2) Computer time: Actual costs as incurred;
(3) Duplication by paper copy: 15 cents per page;
(4) Duplication by other methods: Actual costs as incurred;
(5) Certification of true copies: $1.00 each;
(6) Packing and mailing records: Actual costs as incurred; and
(7) Special delivery or express mail: Actual charges as incurred.
(f) Fee waivers: Fees will be waived or reduced below the fees established under paragraph (e) of this section 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 Peace Corps or Federal government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
(1) In order to determine whether the 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 Federal government, the Peace Corps shall consider the following four criteria:
(i) The subject of the request: Whether the subject of the requested records concerns the operations or activities of the Peace Corps or Federal government;
(ii) The informative value of the information to be disclosed: Whether the disclosure is “likely to contribute” to an understanding of Peace Corps or Federal government operations or activities;
(iii) The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure: Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to “public understanding;” and
(iv) The significance of the contribution to public understanding: Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute “significantly” to public understanding of Peace Corps or Federal government operations or activities.
(2) In order to determine whether disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, the Peace Corps shall consider the following two factors:
(i) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest: Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and if so,
(ii) The primary interest in disclosure: Whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is “primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”
(3) These fee waiver/reduction provisions will be subject to appeal in the same manner as appeals from denial under § 303.12.
(g) No fee will be charged under this section unless the cost of routine collection and processing of the fee payment is likely to exceed the average cost of processing a payment.
(h) Requesters must agree to pay all fees charged for services associated with their requests. The Peace Corps will assume that requesters agree to pay all charges for services associated with their requests up to $25 unless otherwise indicated by the requester.
(i) No requester will be required to make an advance payment of any fee unless:
(1) The requester has previously failed to pay a required fee to another federal agency or to Peace Corps within 30 days of the date of billing, in which case an advance deposit of the full amount of the anticipated fee together with the fee then due plus interest accrued may be required. (The request will not be deemed to have been received by the Peace Corps until such payment is made.); or
(2) The Peace Corps determines that an estimated fee will exceed $250, in which case the requester shall be notified of the amount of the anticipated fee or such portion thereof as can readily be estimated. Such notification shall be transmitted as soon as possible, but in any event within 5 business days of receipt of the request by the Peace Corps. The notification shall offer the requester the opportunity to confer with appropriate representatives of the Peace Corps for the purpose of reformulating the request so as to meet the needs of the requester at a reduced cost. The request will not be deemed to have been received by the Peace Corps for purposes of the initial 20-day response period until the requester makes a deposit on the fee in an amount determined by the Peace Corps.
(j) Interest may be charged to those requesters who fail to pay the fees charged. Interest will be assessed on the amount billed, starting on the 31st day following the day on which the billing was sent. The rate charged will be as prescribed in 31 U.S.C. 3717.
(k) The Agency is not required to process a request for a requester who has not paid FOIA fees owed to another Federal agency.
(l) If the Peace Corps reasonably believes that a requester or group of requesters is attempting to break a request into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the assessment of fees, the Peace Corps shall aggregate such requests and charge accordingly. Likewise, the Peace Corps will aggregate multiple requests for documents received from the same requester within 45 business days.
(m) The Peace Corps reserves the right to limit the number of copies of any document that will be provided to any one requester or to require that special arrangements for duplication be made in the case of bound volumes or other records representing unusual problems of handling or reproduction.[68 FR 66008, Nov. 25, 2003, as amended at 72 FR 27056, May 14, 2007; 79 FR 19820, Apr. 10, 2014]