What is the cost for getting records under the FOIA?

The FOIA permits HHS to charge fees to FOIA requesters. For noncommercial requesters, HHS may charge only for the actual cost of searching for records and the cost of making copies. Search fees usually range from about $23 to $83 per hour, depending upon the salary levels of the personnel needed for the search.

For noncommercial requests, agencies will not charge for the first two hours of search time or for the first 100 pages of document copying. HHS will not charge if the total processing cost is less than $25.

You may request a waiver of FOIA processing fees if you can show that the records, when disclosed to you, will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the operations or activities of the government, and that your request is not predominantly commercial in nature.

Content created by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Division
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