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The Freedom of Information Act provides for the agency to recover part of the cost associated with responding to a request. The Department Regulations set out the specific rules for fees and for requesting a fee waiver or a reduction in fees. Some general principles apply to all requests such as:
- if you are going to request a fee waiver or a reduction in fees, you must do so when you file your initial request for documents.
- you may be charged for search time even if we do not locate any documents responsive to your request or if the documents we locate are denied to you under one of the FOIA's exemptions.
- there will not be a charge if the cost of responding to your request is less than $25.
If a determination is made that fees will be charged, the following fee schedule will be used to calculate the exact cost of search and review time:
- if the work is performed by an agency employee Grade 1-8, you will be charged $5.75 for each 15 minutes worked.
- if the work is performed by an agency employee Grade 9-14, you will be charged $11.50 for each 15 minutes worked.
- if the work is performed by an agency employee Grade 15 or above, you will be charged $20.75 for each 15 minutes worked.
In addition, if you are requesting data produced under a NIH grant under the provisions of OMB Revised Circular A110, you will be charged a reasonable fee equaling the full incremental cost of obtaining the data. This fee will reflect the costs incurred by NIH, the grantee institution and the grantee investigator. These fees will be in addition to any fees assessed by NIH under the FOIA.
This page last reviewed on June 26, 2019