Section 30-4-30 (B) of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act allows the school district to charge “reasonable fees” for the “search, retrieval, or redaction of records.” The fees must represent the “lowest possible cost” and cannot exceed the actual costs of performing the FOIA request and making copies. If it is determined that the information requested is “primarily benefitting the general public,” fees can be reduced or waived. A deposit “not to exceed 25 percent of the total reasonably anticipated costs” will be required prior to searching for or making copies of records. The requester has the right to receive an electronic transmission of the public record if those records are in electronic format or if they can be produced in an electronic format. Any applicable fees must be paid prior to receipt of the requested records.
Board policy KBA has established the following fees for requests under the FOIA:
- An hourly fee (prorated) for the lowest compensated employee who can complete the request
- Copying costs of 15 cents per page
- The district may require a 25% deposit to begin compiling FOIA requests. The remaining balance must be paid prior to receiving requested records.
- Fees may be reduced or waived if it is determined that the information requested is primarily benefitting the general public, according to FOIA Section 30-4-30 (C).
- There will be no charge for the first hour of staff time needed to respond to any FOIA request.