§ 7.42 What is DOT's fee schedule for records requested under subpart C of this part?  


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  • (a) DOT calculates the hourly rates for manual searching, computer operator/programmer time, and time spent reviewing records, when performed by employees, based on the grades and rates in the General Schedule Locality Pay Table for the Locality of Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA, or equivalent grades, plus 16% to cover fringe benefits, as follows:

    (1) GS-1 through GS-8 (or equivalent)—Hourly rate of GS-5 step 7 plus 16%;

    (2) GS-9 through GS-12 (or equivalent)—Hourly rate of GS-10 step 7 plus 16%;

    (3) GS-13 through GS-14 (or equivalent)—Hourly rate of GS-13 step 7 plus 16%; and

    (4) GS-15 and above (or equivalent)—Hourly rate of GS-15 step 7 plus 16%.

    (b) DOT determines the standard fee for a manual or electronic search to locate records by multiplying the searcher's hourly rate as set forth in paragraph (a) of this section by the time spent conducting the search.

    (c) DOT's standard fee for review of records is the reviewer's rate set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, multiplied by the time the reviewer spent determining whether the located records are responsive to the request and whether the responsive records or segregable portions are exempt from disclosure, as explained in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this section.

    (d) DOT determines the standard fee for duplication of records as follows:

    (1) Per copy of each page (not larger than 8.5 × 14 inches) reproduced by photocopy or similar means (includes costs of personnel and equipment)—US $0.10.

    (2) Per copy prepared by any other method of duplication—actual direct cost of production.

    (e) If DOT utilizes a contractor to perform any services described in this section, the standard fee is based on the equivalent hourly rate(s). DOT does not utilize contractors to discharge responsibilities that only DOT may discharge under the FOIA.

    (f) In some cases, depending upon the category of requester and the use for which the records are requested, the fees computed in accordance with the standard fee schedule in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section are either reduced or not charged, as prescribed by other provisions of this subpart.

    (g) For purposes of fees only, there are four categories of FOIA requests:

    (1) Requests submitted by a commercial entity and/or for a commercial use;

    (2) Requests submitted by an educational or noncommercial scientific institution whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research (and not for a commercial use);

    (3) Requests submitted by a representative of the news media; and

    (4) All other requests.

    (h) When records are requested by a commercial requester and/or for a commercial use, the fees assessed are reasonable standard charges for document search, duplication, and review.

    (i) When records are requested by an educational or noncommercial scientific institution whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research or by a representative of the news media (i.e., for a non-commercial use), fees are limited to reasonable standard charges for document duplication.

    (j) For any request not described in paragraph (h) or (i) of this section, fees are limited to reasonable standard charges for document search and duplication.

    (k) Fees under this subpart do not apply to any special study, special statistical compilation, table, or other record requested under 49 U.S.C. 329(c). The fee for the performance of such a service is the actual cost of the work involved in compiling the record. All such fees received by DOT in payment of the cost of such work are deposited in a separate account administered under the direction of the Secretary, and may be used for the ordinary expenses incidental to providing the information.