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Fees for Public Records

Schedule of Fees for Public Records

South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (§ 30-4-30(B))

A reasonable fee not to exceed  the actual  cost will be charged  for the search,  retrieval, and, when appropriate, redaction, of records  produced  in response  to a request  for public  records  under the South  Carolina  Freedom  of lnformation Act (..FOIA"). Additionally, copies will be charged at a cost not to exceed the prevailing commercial rate for the producing of co pies.  In certain  cases, particularly FOIA  requests   in  which  a large  number  of  records  or  confidential  information  is requested,  a  deposit   not exceeding 25%  of  the  total  estimated  fee  will  be  required   prior  to commencing the retrieval and production  of records.

Reasonable efforts will be made to produce records at the lowest possible cost, and the following fee schedule will apply:

  • Copying costs will be charged at a commercially reasonable rate of SO. l 0 per page, and, the fee for non-standard size documents, such  as architectural  plans or property  plats, will be individually determined at the time of copying based on actual copying cost.
  • Search retrieval,  and redaction  costs of records will  be charged  at the prorated hourly salary  of the lowest  paid employee who, in the reasonable discretion  of the custodian of the records,  has the necessary skill and training  to perform the search, retrieval, and,  if appropriate,  redaction.   Record    requests   involving specialized,  technical,   or  confidential  information,  or  otherwise  requiring redaction,   will  in  many  cases    require  an  employee with  a  higher  salary   to perform  the search,  retrieval,  and/or  redaction.   The fee rate, accordingly, will vary based on the nature of the records requested, depending on the necessary skill and training level necessary.  Employee time will be billed based on 1 /4 hour increments. 

The   fee schedule   may   vary from   time to time as salaries and commercially reasonable copying costs change.

Fees will not be charged for examination and review of documents to determine if the documents are subject   to disclosure. Additionally, copying costs  will  not  be charged   for copies  of records  that are  transmitted  in electronic  format, although if requested records  are not already   in  electronic  format,  fees  will   be  charged  for  staff   time   required   to  transfer   the documents to electronic format.