§ 402.175. Fees for providing information and related services for non-program purposes.

(a) General. Section 1106(c) of the Social Security Act permits the Commissioner to require requesters of information to pay the full cost of supplying the information where the information is requested to comply with the ERISA, or “* * * for any other purpose not directly related to the administration of the program or programs under * * *” the Social Security Act. This may be done notwithstanding the fee provisions of the FOIA and the Privacy Act or any other provision of law. As used in this section—

(1) Full cost includes the direct and indirect costs to SSA (including costs of duplication) of providing information and related services under section 1106(c) of the Act; and

(2) Full cost of an employee's time includes fringe benefits and overhead costs such as rent and utilities.

(b) Non-program related requests. We consider a request for information which does not meet or equal any of the criteria in § 402.170 to be non-program related. (Whether a request for information about an individual is made by that individual or by someone else is not a factor.) In responding to these requests, or requests for ERISA purposes, we will charge the full cost of our services as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Fee schedule. Our fee schedule for non-program related requests is:

(1) Manual searching for records. Full cost of the employee's time.

(2) Photocopying, or reproducing records such as magnetic tapes or punch cards. Full cost of the operator's time plus the full cost of the machine time and the materials used.

(3) Use of electronic data processing equipment to obtain records. Our full cost for the service, including computer search time, computer runs and printouts, and the time of computer programmers and operators and other employees.

(4) Certification or authentication of records. Full cost of certification or authentication.

(5) Forwarding materials to destination. If you request special arrangements for forwarding the material, we will charge you the full cost of this service (e.g., you request express mail or a commercial delivery service). If no special forwarding arrangements are requested, we will charge you the full cost of the service, including the U.S. Postal Service cost.

(6) Performing other special services. If we agree to provide any special services you request, we will charge you the full cost of the time of the employee who performs the service, plus the full cost of any machine time and materials that the employee uses.

(7) Billing exceeds cost of service. Generally we will not charge you a fee when the cost of the service is less than the cost of sending you a bill. However, where an individual, organization, or governmental unit makes multiple separate requests, we will total the costs incurred and bill the requester for the services rendered.

(d) Fee for copies of printed materials. When extra copies of printed material are available, the charge is generally 1 cent per page. If the material may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, the charge is that set by the Superintendent. The Superintendent's address is in § 402.40.

(e) Charging when requested record not found. We may charge you for search time, even though we fail to find the records. We may also charge you for search time if the records we locate are exempt from disclosure.