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Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or the Commission) is adopting revisions to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) fee schedule. The updated schedule of fees reflects increases in the direct costs incurred by the Commission in responding to requests for records.

DATES:

October 3, 2005.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas J. Schlageter, Assistant Legal Counsel, or Michelle Zinman, Senior General Attorney at (202) 663-4640 (voice) or (202) 663-7026 (TTY). This notice of final rule is also available in the following formats: large print, Braille, audiotape and electronic file on computer disk. Requests for this notice of final rule in an alternative format should be made to EEOC's Publication Center at 1-800-669-3362.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On July 1, 2005, at 70 FR 38060-01, the EEOC published a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to amend the sections of 29 CFR part 1610 that concern the fees assessed to persons who seek agency records under the FOIA. The changes comply with the Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines, 52 FR 10012 (1987). Comments from the public were due on or before August 31, 2005. No comments were received. Therefore, EEOC is adopting the proposed revisions, without change, as its final rule.

Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866

Pursuant to Executive Order 12866, EEOC has determined that the regulation will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State or local tribal governments or communities. Therefore, a detailed cost-benefit assessment of the regulation is not required.Start Printed Page 57511

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains no new information collection requirements subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Commission, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 606(b)), has reviewed this regulation and by approving it certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

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List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 1610

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For the Commission.

Cari M. Dominguez,

Chair.

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Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, EEOC amends

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PART 1610—AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS

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1. The authority citation for part 1610 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2000e-12(a), 5 U.S.C. 552 as amended by Pub. L. 93-502, Pub. L. 99-570, and Pub. L. 105-231; for § 1610.15, non-search or copy portions are issued under 31 U.S.C. 9701.

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2. Section 1610.1 is amended by adding paragraphs (e) through (i) as follows:

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Definitions.
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(e) Direct costs refers to those expenses that EEOC actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial requesters, reviewing) records to respond to a request. Direct costs include, for example, the salary of the employee performing the work (the basic rate of pay for the employee plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating duplicating machinery. Not included in direct costs are overhead expenses such as costs of space and heating or lighting of the facility in which the records are stored.

(f) Search refers to the time spent looking for and retrieving material that is responsive to a request. It includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within documents and also includes reasonable efforts to locate and retrieve information from records maintained in electronic formats. EEOC employees should ensure that searching for materials is done in the most efficient and least expensive manner reasonably possible. For example, employees shall not search line-by-line when merely duplicating a document would be quicker and less expensive.

(g) Duplication refers to the process of making a copy of a record or document necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Such copies can take the form of paper copy, microform, audio-visual materials, electronic formats (for example magnetic tape or disk), among others. Employees shall honor a requester's specified preference of format of disclosure if the record is readily reproducible with reasonable efforts in the requested format by the office responding to the request.

(h) Attestation refers to the authentication of copies of Commission documents by an affidavit or unsworn declaration from the records custodian without the Commission Seal.

(i) Certification refers to the authentication of copies of Commission documents by an affidavit or unsworn declaration from the records custodian under the Commission Seal.

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3. Section 1610.15(c) is revised to read as follows:

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Schedule of fees and method of payment for services rendered.
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(c) Except as otherwise provided, the following specific fees for direct costs shall be applicable with respect to services rendered to members of the public under this subpart:

(1) For manual search and review time:

(i) By clerical personnel—at the rate of $5.00 per quarter hour.

(ii) By paralegals—at the rate of $9.00 per quarter hour.

(iii) By professional personnel—at the rate of $10.00 per quarter hour.

(iv) By managers—at the rate of $17.50 per quarter hour.

(v) By SES employees—at the rate of $20.00 per quarter hour.

(2) For computer searches of records, requesters will be charged at the actual direct cost of providing the service. This includes the operator/programmer salary apportionable to the search based on the rates listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(3) For copies made by photocopy—$0.15 per page (maximum of 10 copies). For copies prepared by computer, such as tapes or printouts, EEOC will charge the direct cost incurred by the agency, including operator time. For other forms of duplication, EEOC will charge the actual costs of that duplication.

(4) For attestation of documents—$25.00 per authenticating affidavit or declaration. Additionally, there may be search and review charges assessed in accordance with the rates listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(5) For certification of document—$50.00 per authenticating affidavit or declaration. Additionally, there may be search and review charges assessed in accordance with the rates listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(6) For each signed statement of negative result of search for record—$10.00. Additionally, there may be search charges assessed in accordance with the rates listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(7) For retrieval of records from a Federal Records Center—the amount charged to EEOC for retrieval of such records.

(8) All other direct costs of search, review, duplication or delivery (other than normal mail), shall be charged to the requester as appropriate in the same amount as incurred by the agency.

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[FR Doc. 05-19649 Filed 9-30-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6570-01-U