Can I be charged for the FOAA Request?

There is no initial fee for submitting a FOAA request. 

The City may charge fees for the time spent searching for, retrieving, compiling or redacting confidential information from the requested records. The FOAA authorizes agencies or officials to charge up to $25 per hour after the first two hours of staff time per request. Where conversion of a record is necessary, the agency or official may also charge a fee to cover the actual cost of conversion. The City of Biddeford's policy is to charge $15 per hour after the first two hours of staff time per request.  The City requires payment of all costs before the public record will be provided to the requester.

The City cannot charge an individual to inspect records unless the public record cannot be inspected without being compiled or converted. However, the City can and normally does charge for copying records. Requests for copies of documents will be subject to a fee of $0.10 per page for a standard 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches black and white copy of a record. The City may charge for the actual cost of a device used to store the public record, such as a flash drive, if the storage device will be given to the requester. The City may also charge for the actual mailing costs to mail a copy of a record.

The City must prepare an estimate of the time and cost required to complete a request within a reasonable amount of time of receipt of the request. If the time to prepare is estimated to be greater than two hours, the City will notify the requester before proceeding to ensure that they accept the fee. The City may request payment prior to beginning the search for records if the estimated total cost for the request exceeds $100 or if the requester has previously failed to pay a fee properly assessed under the FOAA.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Maine Freedom of Access Act?
2. What is a public record?
3. What is a FOAA request?
4. Does the FOAA request have to be in writing?
5. What should my FOAA request say or include?
6. Who should I send my FOAA request to within the City?
7. Does the City have to acknowledge receipt of my request?
8. Is the City authorized to ask me for clarification concerning my request?
9. Does the City have to estimate how long it will take to respond to my request?
10. In what form can I expect the records to be in response to my FOAA request?
11. Can I be charged for the FOAA Request?
12. Is the City subject to penalties for failure to comply with the Freedom of Access Act?