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Published on Friday, January 31, 2014

Cost recovery for commercial records to be heard next week

For the past two sessions, AWC has been supporting HB 1037, which establishes a cost recovery mechanism for public records for commercial purposes. The House Appropriations Committee will hear the bill on Monday, February 3.

The bill underwent a number of revisions last session, and the current version allows an agency to recover its actual cost of responding to a request if the request is made for sale or resale of all or part of the record. The actual cost may include locating, assembling, reviewing, redacting, and copying the record.

Agencies must establish a fee schedule and an appeals process before implementing cost recovery. The fee may be a flat fee, fee per record, or other type of fee, so long as it does not exceed a reasonable estimate of the cost to provide a record.

The bill also allows an agency to inquire whether the purpose of the request is for sale or resale and provides a number of circumstances in which an agency may not charge a fee, including when the requestor is:

  • Entitled to the records under a contract, memorandum of understanding, other binding agreement, or other law;
  • A representative of the news media, non-profit, or educational institution;
  • A title insurer or prospective developer of real property; or
  • Able to demonstrate that the records will be used for complying with government permitting requirements or other regulations.