U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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Fee Guidelines

There is no initial fee to make a FOIA request, and in some cases no fees are charged.

Departmental Regulations allow us to recover part of the costs associated with processing FOIA requests. For fee purposes, FOIA divides requesters into three categories:

  1. Commercial use requesters are charged for any search time, document review, and duplication
  2. News media, educational, or scientific requesters are charged for duplication only, after the first 100 pages
  3. All other requesters are charged for search time (after two hours) and duplication (after 100 pages)

You may make a specific statement in your request limiting the amount of fees you are willing to pay. If you do not state a specific fee limit we will assume that you are willing to pay all fees incurred while processing your request.

We will notify you if:

  • Your fees will exceed the limit
  • Your estimated fees exceed $250.00

You may receive the opportunity to narrow your request in order to reduce the fees, or you may be asked to confirm your commitment to pay the estimated amount.  

Search Fee Schedule

The reproduction fees are $0.10 per page. The current search and review fees are determined by the General Schedule (GS) salary level which is representative of the HHS employee performing the initial search and review services.

Hourly Fees:
GS 8<                    $23

GS 9-14                 $46

GS 15>                  $83

Fee Waivers

You may request a waiver for FOIA processing fees. However, fee waivers are limited to situations in which a requester can show 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.

Content created by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Division
Content last reviewed on August 28, 2015