From: Robert Freeman
Date: 10/20/2006 11:46:31 AM
I have received your letter in which you asked whether an agency may charge twenty-five cents per photocopy if the actual cost of producing a photocopy is less than that amount.
In short, a careful reading of §87(1)(b)(iii) of the Freedom of Information Law concerning fees indicates that an agency may do so. That provision states that an agency's rules must include reference to:
"the fees for copies of records which shall not exceed twenty-five cents per photocopy not in excess of nine by fourteen inches, or the actual cost of reproducing any other record, except when a different fee is otherwise prescribled by statute."
Based on the foregoing, an agency may charge up to twenty-five cents per photocopy not in excess of nine by fourteen inches, irrespective of the actual cost of preparing a photocopy. The standard involving actual cost pertains to "any other record."
I hope that foregoing serves to clarify your understanding.
Robert J. Freeman
NYS Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-2518 - Phone
(518) 474-1927 - Fax
Website - www.dos.ny.gov/coog/coogwww.html