[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 140 (Friday, July 20, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 42673-42677]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16792]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 140 / Friday, July 20, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 42673]]



COUNCIL OF THE INSPECTORS GENERAL ON INTEGRITY AND EFFICIENCY

5 CFR Chapter XCVIII


Freedom of Information Act Regulations

AGENCY: Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
Efficiency (CIGIE) is issuing this proposed rule establishing its Code 
of Federal Regulations chapter to provide the procedures and guidelines 
under which CIGIE will implement the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 
The proposed rule describes the policies and procedures for public 
disclosure of information required to be disclosed under FOIA.

DATES: Submit comments on or before September 18, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: mark.jones@CIGIE.gov.
     Fax: (202) 254-0162.
     Mail: Mark D. Jones, Executive Director, Council of the 
Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, 1717 H Street NW., 
Suite 825 Washington, DC 20006, (202) 292-2600.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Council of the Inspectors General 
on Integrity and Efficiency, 1717 H Street NW., Suite 825 Washington, 
DC 20006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark D. Jones, Executive Director, 
Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, (202) 
292-2600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Council of the Inspectors General on 
Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) is issuing this proposed rule to 
provide the procedures and guidelines under which CIGIE will implement 
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552). In issuing this 
regulation, CIGIE adhered to the regulatory philosophy and the 
applicable principles of regulation as set forth in Section 1 of 
Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735. 
This proposed rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management 
and Budget under the Executive Order since it is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of the Executive Order. For 
purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), CIGIE 
certifies that this proposed rule, if adopted in final form, would 
contain no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 9800

    Appeals, Freedom of Information Act, Information, Privacy, Records.

    Accordingly, as set forth in the preamble, the Council of the 
Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency is proposing to 
establish 5 CFR chapter XCVIII, consisting of parts 9800 through 9899, 
to read as follows:

Chapter XCVIII--Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
Efficiency

PART

9800--Freedom of Information Act Regulations
9801-9899 [RESERVED]

PART 9800--FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REGULATIONS

Sec.
9800.1 Purpose.
9800.2 CIGIE organization.
9800.3 Definitions.
9800.4 General provisions.
9800.5 Public reading room.
9800.6 Requirements for making requests.
9800.7 Agency response to requests for records.
9800.8 Multitrack processing.
9800.9 General provisions respecting release of records.
9800.10 Appeals.
9800.11 Expedited processing.
9800.12 Date of receipt of requests or appeals.
9800.13 Handling commercial information obtained from a private 
business.
9800.14 Extension of administrative deadlines.
9800.15 Fees.
9800.16 Interest charges.
9800.17 Aggregating requests.
9800.18 Fee waivers and reductions.

    Authority: Pub. L. 110-409, 122 Stat. 4302; 5 U.S.C. App; E.O. 
12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 235; E.O. 13392, 70 FR 
75373-75377, 3 CFR, 2006 Comp., p. 216-200.


Sec.  9800.1  Purpose.

    This part implements the provisions of The Freedom of Information 
Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), as amended, for CIGIE records. These 
regulations should be read in conjunction with the FOIA, which explains 
in more detail requesters' rights and the records CIGIE may release. 
This regulation should also be read with CIGIE's FOIA Reference Guide, 
available on CIGIE's Web site, http://www.ignet.gov, and the FOIA fee 
guidance provided by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Uniform 
Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines.


Sec.  9800.2  CIGIE organization.

    (a) CIGIE has a centralized FOIA Program, with one office receiving 
and coordinating the processing of all requests made to CIGIE. The 
Integrity Committee (IC) is the single exception to CIGIE's centralized 
FOIA Program. For FOIA purposes, the IC is a separate entity that 
follows its own FOIA policies and regulations, and manages its own FOIA 
resources, structure and processing procedures. By statute, all records 
received or created by the IC in fulfilling its responsibilities are 
collected and maintained separately as IC records by the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation (FBI) in its Central Records System. See Title 28, CFR 
Part 16, Subpart A. Accordingly, the regulations published below do not 
apply to requests or appeals for records maintained by the IC.
    (b) CIGIE will accept requests or appeals for all CIGIE records--
including IC records--at official mailboxes. Requests for IC records 
will be forwarded to the IC for processing and direct response to the 
requester.


Sec.  9800.3  Definitions.

    The following definitions apply to this part:
    Appeal means a requester's written disagreement with an adverse 
determination under the FOIA.
    CIGIE means the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
Efficiency and includes its predecessor agencies, the Executive Council 
on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE) and the President's Council on 
Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE).

[[Page 42674]]

    Confidential commercial information means records obtained by CIGIE 
from a business submitter that may contain information exempt from 
release under Exemption 4 of FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).
    Days, unless stated as ``calendar days,'' are working days and do 
not include Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.
    Employee, for the purposes of this regulation, means any person 
currently or formerly holding an appointment to a position of 
employment with CIGIE, or any agent or independent contractor acting on 
behalf of or performing work for CIGIE.
    FOIA Officer and Chief FOIA Officer are persons designated by the 
CIGIE Chairperson to grant or deny requests for records under FOIA.
    IC means the CIGIE Integrity Committee established under section 
11(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App), as amended.
    Perfected request means a written FOIA request that meets all of 
the criteria set forth in Sec.  1.6.
    Reading room means a location where records are available for 
review pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2).
    Record means a document or documentary material maintained in any 
form, which CIGIE:
    (1) Created or received under Federal law or in connection with the 
transaction of public business;
    (2) Preserved or determined is appropriate for preservation as 
evidence of operations or activities of CIGIE, or due to the value of 
the information it contains; and
    (3) Controls at the time it receives a FOIA request.
    Requester means any person, partnership, corporation, association, 
or foreign or State or local government, which has made a demand to 
access a CIGIE record under FOIA.
    Submitter means any person or entity providing confidential 
commercial information to the Federal Government.
    Unusual circumstances means CIGIE must:
    (1) Search for or collect records from agencies, offices, 
facilities, or locations that are separate from the office processing 
the request;
    (2) Search, review, or duplicate a voluminous number of records in 
order to process a single request; or
    (3) Consult with another agency or component that has a substantial 
interest in the determination of a request.


Sec.  9800.4  General provisions.

    (a) CIGIE prohibits employees from releasing or disclosing 
confidential or otherwise non-public information that CIGIE possesses, 
except as authorized by this regulation or by the CIGIE Chairperson, 
when the disclosure is necessary for the performance of official 
duties.
    (b) CIGIE has designated a FOIA Public Liaison to assist in the 
resolution of disputes between the agency and the requester. Contact 
information for CIGIE's FOIA Public Liaison can be found on CIGIE's Web 
site, http://www.ignet.gov.
    (c) CIGIE is required to prepare an annual report regarding its 
FOIA activities in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(e). CIGIE's annual 
report contains information about agency FOIA requests and appeals. The 
annual report is posted on the CIGIE's Web site, http://www.ignet.gov.


Sec.  9800.5  Public reading room.

    CIGIE maintains an electronic public reading room on its Web site, 
http://www.ignet.gov, which contains the records that the FOIA requires 
be regularly made available for public inspection and copying, as well 
as additional records of interest to the public.


Sec.  9800.6  Requirements for making requests.

    (a) Requesters may make a request for CIGIE records by writing 
directly to the CIGIE FOIA Officer through electronic mail, mail, 
delivery service, or facsimile. The electronic mail address is: 
FOIASTAFF@cigie.gov. For mail or delivery service, the mailing address 
is: FOIA Officer, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
Efficiency, 1717 H Street NW., Suite 825, Washington, DC 20006. The 
facsimile number is: (202) 254-0162. CIGIE's FOIA Reference Guide, 
which is available on CIGIE's Web site, http://www.ignet.gov, provides 
additional information regarding submitting a request.
    (b) Requests must be sent to the official CIGIE FOIA mailboxes that 
are established for the purpose of receiving requests. A request that 
is sent to an individual employee's mailbox or directly to a CIGIE 
standing committee address--other than for IC records--will not be 
considered a perfected request. Mailbox addresses designated to receive 
requests are identified in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) CIGIE will not consider an improperly addressed request to have 
been received for purposes of the 20-day time limit of Sec.  1.7 until 
it is actually received by CIGIE at one of the locations specified in 
paragraph (a) of this section.
    (d) Requests must be made in writing, and should contain the phrase 
``FOIA Request'' on the front of the envelope or on the cover sheet of 
the facsimile transmittal.
    (e) Requests must include the requester's full name and a legible 
return address. Requesters may include other contact information as 
well, such as a telephone number and an electronic mail address.
    (f) A request must describe the records sought in enough detail to 
enable CIGIE personnel to locate them with reasonable effort. A 
requester should include as much specific information as possible 
regarding dates, titles, names of individuals, and names of agencies or 
other organizations that may help identify the records. Wide ranging 
requests that lack specificity or that contain broad descriptions of 
subject matters without reference to specific records, may be 
considered ``not reasonably described'' and therefore not subject to 
further processing.
    (g) If CIGIE determines that a request does not reasonably describe 
the records, the agency will inform the requester and provide the 
requester with an opportunity to modify the request. The ``date of 
receipt'' in such cases shall be the date of receipt of the modified 
request.
    (h) The time limit for processing the request will be tolled while 
any fee issue is not resolved. If CIGIE anticipates that the fees for 
processing the request will exceed the amount that the requester has 
stated he or she is willing to pay, or will amount to more than $25.00, 
the agency will notify the requester. In such cases, the agency will 
require the requester to agree in writing to pay the estimated fee.
    (i) The requester must meet all of the requirements of this section 
in order for the request to be perfected. CIGIE will only process 
perfected requests.


Sec.  9800.7  Agency response to requests for records.

    (a) With the exception of IC records, the CIGIE FOIA Officer, the 
Chief FOIA Officer, and persons designated by the CIGIE Chairperson are 
solely authorized to grant or deny any request for CIGIE records.
    (b) When a request for records is submitted in accordance with 
Sec.  1.6, CIGIE shall inform the requester of its determination 
concerning that request within 20 working days (excepting Saturdays, 
Sundays, and Federal holidays), plus any extension authorized under 
Sec.  1.14. If CIGIE grants the request, CIGIE will inform the 
requester of any conditions surrounding

[[Page 42675]]

the granting of the request. If CIGIE grants only a portion of the 
request, the portion not granted will be treated as a denial. If CIGIE 
denies the request in whole or in part, CIGIE will inform the requester 
of that decision and of the following:
    (1) The reason for the denial;
    (2) The name and title or position of the person responsible for 
denial of the request;
    (3) The requester's right to appeal any such denial and the title 
and address of the official to whom such appeal is to be addressed; and
    (4) The requirement that such appeal be received within 45 days of 
the date of the denial.
    (c) If CIGIE cannot fulfill a request because the records requested 
are in the custody of another agency outside CIGIE, CIGIE will inform 
the requester and will forward the request to that agency or department 
for processing in accordance with this regulation.


Sec.  9800.8  Multitrack processing.

    (a) CIGIE processes requests using a multitrack processing system. 
There are four processing tracks: An expedited track, if the request 
qualifies; a simple track for relatively simple requests; a complex 
track for more complex and lengthy requests; and a remanded track, when 
a FOIA appeal is granted.
    (b) CIGIE processes requests on a ``first-in, first-out'' basis for 
each track, unless there are unusual circumstances as referenced in 
Sec.  9800.14, or the requester is entitled to expedited processing as 
described in Sec.  9800.11.


Sec.  9800.9  General provisions respecting release of records.

    (a) CIGIE will provide the records in the form or format specified 
by the requester, if the records are readily reproducible in that form 
or format.
    (b) If the request concerns documents involving a personal privacy 
interest or documents protected by another confidentiality statute, the 
requester must provide either a notarized statement or a statement 
signed under penalty of perjury, declaring that the requester is 
actually the person he or she claims to be. Original signatures are 
required.


Sec.  9800.10  Appeals.

    (a) Requesters may appeal the denial of a request by writing 
directly to the CIGIE FOIA Officer through electronic mail, mail, 
delivery service, or facsimile. The electronic mail address is 
FOIASTAFF@cigie.gov. For mail or delivery service, the mailing address 
is: FOIA Officer, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
Efficiency, 1717 H Street NW., Suite 825, Washington, DC 20006. The 
facsimile number is: (202) 254-0162. CIGIE's FOIA Reference Guide, 
which is available on CIGIE's Web site, http://www.ignet.gov, provides 
additional information regarding submitting an appeal.
    (b) Appeals must be sent to official CIGIE FOIA mailboxes that are 
established for the purpose of receiving appeals. An appeal that is 
sent to an individual CIGIE employee's mailbox or directly to a CIGIE 
standing committee address--other than for IC records--will not be 
considered a perfected appeal. Mailbox addresses designated to receive 
appeals are identified in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) CIGIE will not consider an improperly addressed appeal to have 
been received for purposes of the 20-day time limit of paragraph (h) of 
this section until it is actually received by CIGIE at one of the 
locations specified in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (d) FOIA appeals must be in writing, and should contain the phrase 
``FOIA Appeal'' on the front of the envelope or on the cover sheet of 
the facsimile transmittal.
    (e) Appeals must include the requester's full name and a legible 
return address. Requesters may include other contact information as 
well, such as a telephone number and an electronic mail address.
    (f) Requesters submitting an administrative appeal of a denial of a 
request for records must ensure that the appeal is received by CIGIE 
within 45 days of the date of the denial letter.
    (g) CIGIE provides for review of appeals by an official different 
from the official or officials designated to make initial denials.
    (h) Upon receipt of an appeal, CIGIE shall inform the requester of 
its determination concerning that appeal within 20 working days 
(excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays), plus any 
extension authorized by Sec.  9800.14. If CIGIE grants the appeal, the 
agency will inform the requester of any conditions surrounding the 
granting of the request and the approximate date the response will be 
in effect. If CIGIE grants only a portion of the appeal, the agency 
will treat the portion not granted as a denial. If CIGIE denies the 
appeal in whole or in part, CIGIE will inform the requester of that 
decision and of the following:
    (1) The reason for denial;
    (2) The name and title or position of the person responsible for 
denial of the appeal; and
    (3) The right to judicial review of the denial in accordance with 5 
U.S.C. 552(a)(4).
    (i) A requester may seek judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4) 
if the denial of his or her request for records was upheld in whole or 
in part or if a determination respecting an appeal has not been sent 
within the statutory time limit in paragraph (h) of this section.
    (j) A determination by the designated FOIA appeals official 
pertaining to CIGIE records will be final agency action.


Sec.  9800.11  Expedited processing.

    (a) A requester may apply for expedited processing when submitting 
an initial request for records. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of a 
request for expedited processing, CIGIE will decide whether to grant it 
and will notify the requester of the decision. If a request for 
expedited treatment is granted, CIGIE will process the request as soon 
as practicable. If CIGIE denies a request for expedited processing, 
CIGIE will act expeditiously on any appeal respecting that decision.
    (b) A request or appeal will be taken out of order and given 
expedited treatment when CIGIE determines that the requester has 
established one of the following criteria:
    (1) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could 
reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or 
physical safety of an individual;
    (2) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged 
Federal Government activity, if made by an individual primarily engaged 
in disseminating information;
    (3) The loss of substantial due process rights;
    (4) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest raising 
possible questions about the Federal Government's integrity which 
affects public confidence; or
    (5) A substantial humanitarian need or interest.
    (c) A requester who seeks expedited processing must include a 
written statement that the requester has certified to be true and 
correct to the best of the requester's knowledge, explaining in detail 
the reasons for requesting expedited processing. CIGIE will not 
consider the request for expedited processing to have been received 
unless accompanied by such a certified statement, and CIGIE is under no 
obligation to consider the request for expedited processing until it 
receives a certified statement.

[[Page 42676]]

    (d) These procedures apply to requests for expedited processing of 
administrative appeals.


Sec.  9800.12  Date of receipt of requests or appeals.

    The date of receipt of a request or appeal shall be the date it is 
received by the CIGIE FOIA office.


Sec.  9800.13  Handling commercial information obtained from a private 
business.

    When CIGIE cannot readily determine whether the information in its 
records is privileged or confidential commercial information, it is 
CIGIE's policy to obtain and consider the views of the submitter of the 
information and to provide an opportunity to object to any decision 
prior to disclosure of the information. If CIGIE receives a request for 
information that has been submitted by a business, CIGIE shall:
    (a) Provide the submitter of commercial information with 
notification of a FOIA request for that information, unless CIGIE 
readily determines that the information requested should not be 
disclosed or, alternately, that the information is not exempt from 
disclosure by law.
    (b) Afford the submitter reasonable time in which to object to the 
disclosure of any specified portion of the information. The submitter 
must fully explain all grounds for objecting to disclosure of any 
specified portion of the information. For example, if the submitter 
maintains that disclosure is likely to cause it substantial competitive 
harm, the submitter must explain on an item-by-item basis why 
disclosure would cause such harm. Information provided by a submitter 
pursuant to this part may itself be subject to disclosure under FOIA;
    (c) Notify the FOIA requester of the need to inform the submitter 
of a request for the submitted commercial information;
    (d) Determine whether the records requested are exempt from 
disclosure or must be released after carefully considering all reasons 
provided by a submitter for objecting to disclosure;
    (e) Prior to the disclosure date, notify submitters of any 
determination to disclose such records so that the matter may be 
considered for possible judicial intervention; and
    (f) Notify submitters promptly in all cases in which FOIA 
requesters bring suit seeking to compel disclosure of submitted 
information.


Sec.  9800.14  Extension of administrative deadlines.

    In unusual circumstances, CIGIE may extend the 20 working day 
response time for no more than 10 additional working days for initial 
requests or appeals and shall notify requesters of:
    (a) The reason for the extension; and
    (b) The estimated date of completion.


Sec.  9800.15  Fees.

    (a) The current schedule of fees is maintained on CIGIE's Web site, 
http://www.ignet.gov.
    (b) Under FOIA, as amended, there are four categories of 
requesters: Commercial use requesters, educational and non-commercial 
scientific institutions; representatives of the news media; and all 
other requesters.
    (c) For commercial use requesters, CIGIE assesses charges which 
recover the full direct costs of searching for, reviewing, and 
duplicating the records requested. Commercial use requesters are not 
entitled to receive free search time or duplication referenced in 
paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) of this section. CIGIE may recover the 
cost of searching for and reviewing records for commercial use 
requesters even if no records are ultimately disclosed.
    (1) A commercial use requester is considered to be a person who 
seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers a commercial, 
trade, or profit interest of the requester or the person on whose 
behalf the request is made.
    (2) In order to determine whether a requester properly belongs in 
this category, CIGIE must consider whether the requester will put the 
documents to a commercial use. In cases where CIGIE has reasonable 
cause to doubt a requester's use of the records sought, or where that 
use is not clearly identified in the request itself, CIGIE may seek 
additional clarification from the requester.
    (d) Fees for educational and non-commercial scientific institution 
requesters are limited to the cost of providing standard duplication 
services alone, without charge for the first 100 pages reproduced. To 
qualify for this category, requesters must show that the request made 
is authorized by and under the auspices of an eligible institution and 
that the records are not sought for a commercial use, but are sought in 
furtherance of scholarly research (if the request is from an 
educational institution) or scientific research (if the request is from 
a non-commercial scientific institution).
    (1) The term ``educational institution'' refers to preschools, 
public or private elementary or secondary schools, institutions of 
graduate or undergraduate higher education, institutions of 
professional education, and institutions of vocational education 
operating one or more programs of scholarly research.
    (2) The term ``non-commercial scientific institution'' refers to an 
institution that is not operated on a ``commercial'' basis, and which 
is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research.
    (e) For requesters who are representatives of the news media, fees 
will also be limited to the cost of providing duplication services 
alone, without charge for the first 100 pages reproduced. No fee will 
be charged for providing search or review services.
    (1) The term ``representative of the news media'' refers to a 
person actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and 
operated to publish or broadcast news to the public.
    (2) The term ``news'' means information that is about current 
events or that would be of current interest to the public.
    (3) Examples of news media entities include television or radio 
stations broadcasting to the public, and publishers of periodicals 
which disseminate news and who make their products available for 
purchase or subscription by the general public.
    (4) Freelance journalists may be regarded as working for a news 
organization if they can demonstrate a sufficient basis for expecting 
publication through that organization, even though not actually 
employed by it.
    (f) Fees for all other requesters who do not fit into any of the 
above categories will be assessed for the full reasonable direct cost 
of searching for and duplicating documents that are responsive to a 
request. No charge will be made to requesters in this category for the 
first 100 pages reproduced or for the first two hours of search time.
    (g) CIGIE will assess fees for searches which fail to locate 
records or which locate records which are exempt from disclosure at the 
same rate as searches which result in disclosure of records.
    (h) If a fee is incurred in connection with a request or an appeal 
in accordance with this section, CIGIE will inform the requester of the 
amount owed and the basis for the fee amount.
    (i) Payment for outstanding fees incurred will be billed to the 
fullest extent possible at the time the requested records are forwarded 
to the requester. Payments must be made by requesters within 30 days of 
the date of the billing.
    (j) In cases where the estimated fees to be charged exceed $250.00, 
CIGIE may require payment of the entire fee or a portion of the fee 
before it provides any of the requested records.

[[Page 42677]]

    (k) CIGIE shall require full payment of any delinquent fee owed by 
the requester plus any applicable interest prior to releasing records 
on a subsequent request or appeal. If a requester declines to remit 
payment in advance, CIGIE may refuse to process the request or appeal 
with written notice to that effect provided to the requester. The 
``date of receipt'' appeal for which advance payment has been required 
shall be the date CIGIE receives payment.


Sec.  9800.16  Interest charges.

    For requests that result in fees assessed, CIGIE may begin levying 
interest charges on an unpaid bill starting on the 31' day following 
the day on which the billing was sent. Interest will be assessed at the 
rate prescribed under 31 U.S.C. 3717, and will accrue from the date of 
the billing.


Sec.  9800.17  Aggregating requests.

    If CIGIE reasonably believes that a requester, or group of 
requesters acting in concert, is attempting to break down a request 
into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the assessment of 
fees, CIGIE may aggregate any such requests and charge accordingly.


Sec.  9800.18  Fee waivers and reductions.

    (a) CIGIE may waive or reduce fees if disclosure of the information 
sought is deemed to be in the public interest. A request is made in the 
public interest if it is likely to contribute significantly to public 
understanding of the operations or activities of the Federal 
Government, and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the 
requester.
    (b) When determining fee waiver requests, CIGIE will consider the 
following six factors:
    (1) The subject of the request: whether the subject of the 
requested records concerns the operations or activities of the Federal 
Government;
    (2) The informative value of the information to be disclosed: 
whether the disclosure is likely to contribute to an understanding of 
Federal Government operations or activities;
    (3) The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the 
public likely to result from the disclosure: Whether the disclosure 
will contribute to the public understanding;
    (4) The significance of the contribution to the public 
understanding: Whether the disclosure is likely to significantly 
contribute to the public understanding of Federal Government operations 
or activities;
    (5) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest: Whether 
the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the 
disclosure of the requested records; and
    (6) The primary interest in disclosure: Whether the magnitude of an 
identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, 
in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure 
is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
    (c) CIGIE may, in its discretion, waive or reduce fees associated 
with a records request, regardless of whether a waiver or reduction has 
been requested, if the agency determines that disclosure will primarily 
benefit the general public.
    (d) CIGIE will waive fees without discretion in all circumstances 
where the amount of the fee is $25.00 or less.
    (e) CIGIE will notify the requester regarding whether the fee 
waiver has been granted. A requester may appeal a denial of a fee 
waiver request only after a final decision has been made on the initial 
FOIA request.

    Dated: June 22, 2012.
Phyllis K. Fong,
Chairperson of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
Efficiency.
[FR Doc. 2012-16792 Filed 7-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-C9-P