Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)

AOTUS Letter to OMB Director Regarding FOIA Advisory Committee Recommendation on Fees - August 26, 2016

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On August 26, 2016, the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) sent the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the following letter concerning the FOIA Advisory Committee's recommendation regarding FOIA fees.

26 August 2016

Mr. Shaun Donovan Director
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503

SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee Recommendation Regarding FOIA Fees

Dear Mr. Donovan:

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee, established within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in accordance with the second United States Open Government National Action Plan, submitted to me an approved recommendation that the Office of Management and Budget (0MB) revise its 1987 FOIA Fee Guidelines1 to reflect technological changes and to clarify fee issues.

The Committee is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., and its objective is to advise on ways to improve FOIA administration, and to make recommendations to me.

This recommendation had been unanimously approved during the 2014-16 term on April 19, 2016. At the first meeting of its 2016-18 term on July 21, 2016, the Committee unanimously re-affirmed its recommendation.

It is the Committee's view that revising OMB's fee guidelines would improve Government-wide administration of FOIA by clarifying fees issues for requesters and Federal agencies, establishing a less subjective and more transparent fee assessment process, and reducing the amount of time it takes agencies to assess fees.

Attached is a copy of the FOIA Advisory Committee's first term (2014-16) report and recommendation for your review. I respectfully request your consideration of the recommendations which reflect the Committee's thoughtful and thorough work on this important topic.


s/David S. Ferriero 

Archivist of the United States

cc: Ms. Lisa Danzig, 0MB Associate Director for Performance and Personnel Management

Attachment: Final Report and Recommendations - FOIA Federal Advisory Committee April 19, 2016

1 "The Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986; Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines," Federal Register, Vol. 52, No. 59, Friday, March 27, 1987, accessed August 12, 2016,

Note: The URL originally cited in footnote 1 no longer accessible. An archived versionof the cited webpage is is available online.