A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records and shall make all reasonable efforts to supply the requested records at the lowest possible cost. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. Prior to conducting a search for records, the public body shall notify the requester in writing that the public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for requested records and inquire of the requester whether he would like to request a cost estimate in advance of the supplying of the requested records as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.
If we estimate that it will cost more than $200 to respond to your request, we may require you to pay a deposit before proceeding with your request. The statutory periods for response times are held in abeyance pending the resolution of cost issues.
If any fees owed to the University for FOIA Services remain unpaid for 30 days or more after billing, the University may require you to pay outstanding fees before processing your subsequent FOIA requests. Va. Code § 2.2-3704(I).
For FOIA requests which seek records other than email, the University will charge the hourly rate of the base salary of the employee who will access, duplicate, supply, or search for the requested records, including time for research, data analysis, report preparation, and redaction, if required.
For FOIA requests seeking email correspondence, the University of Virginia will first determine the size of each mailbox for the specified time period. We then ingest the mailbox into a specialized eDiscovery application, customized for the University. This platform enables us to locate all potentially responsive records efficiently and accurately. Our actual cost to ingest one gigabyte of data into this platform is $50. Once the specified email accounts are ingested into this platform, we can perform deduplication, perform searches, and finally, begin to review records. This step incurs additional costs for the time of review. This review time will be charged at the hourly rate of the base salary of the employee who will review the records.
For FOIA requests which require production of hard copy records, the University will charge a flat fee of 10 cents per printed page.
Please note, any estimate provided is not a fixed amount. Actual costs may be greater or less than the estimated amount. In such a case, the University will refund any overage paid, or invoice for additional payment.