EXPEDITED PROCESSING AND FEES
Title 32 Code of Federal Regulation (C.F.R.) Part 286.8
provides for the expedition of initial FOIA requests. DoD Components must make expedited processing determinations within 10 calendar days after receipt of a request that meets the criterion of reasonably described records as detailed in 32 C.F.R. § 286.5(a).
THERE ARE TWO ACCEPTED REASONS FOR THE EXPEDITED PROCESSING
OF A FOIA REQUEST:
- COMPELLING NEED
A. Circumstances in which the failure to obtain the records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to life or physical safety of an individual.
You must submit a detailed statement, explaining the basis for your request. This statement must be certified as true and correct.
B. An individual, who is primarily engaged in disseminating information, urgently needs the information to inform the public concerning actual or alleged government activity.
Urgency to inform the public generally means the requested information has a particular value that it will lose if not disseminated quickly. This usually concerns a breaking news story of general public interest. Historic information, or information sought for litigation or commercial activities normally would not qualify for expedited processing in this category.
Requesters seeking expedited processing under this category, who are not a full-time members of the news media
, must establish that he or she is a person whose primary professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, and not an incidental or secondary activity. Such a requester must also establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request—one that extends beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The existence of numerous articles published on a given subject can be helpful in establishing the requirement that there be an “urgency to inform” the public on the topic.
- OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES
A. Loss of substantial due process rights is imminent;
B. Failure to obtain the requested information on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to harm substantial humanitarian interests.
You must include a statement, explaining the basis for your request. The statement must be certified as true and correct include a detailed description of the due process rights that would be lost.
The Freedom of Information Act provides for the charging of fees "applicable to the processing of requests" and sets limitations and restrictions on the assessment of certain fees. There are three types of fees that may be assessed in response to FOIA requests: search, review and duplication. The fees that may be charged are dependent upon the requester's fee category, which are listed below.
- Non-commercial scientific or educational institutions or news media
- All other requesters
If we determine or estimate that the fees to be assessed will exceed $25, we will notify the requester of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, including a breakdown of the fees for search, review or duplication, unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay a higher fee amount.
Read how fees are calculated
The fee waiver standard of the Freedom of Information Act provides that fees should be waived or reduced "If disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.” When requesting a fee waiver, you must provide justification to support your request.
The inability to pay fees is not a legal basis for granting a waiver.
Page Updated January 30, 2024