The Freedom of Information Commission annual conference is returning on Friday, October 20th. Please click here for more information or to register.

Sec. 1-212. (Formerly Sec. 1-15). Copies and scanning of public records. Fees.


(a)  Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record. The type of copy provided shall be within the discretion of the public agency, except (1) the agency shall provide a certified copy whenever requested, and (2) if the applicant does not have access to a computer or facsimile machine, the public agency shall not send the applicant an electronic or facsimile copy. The fee for any copy provided in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act:

            (A)  By an executive, administrative or legislative office of the state, a state agency or a department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official of the state, including a committee of, or created by, such an office, agency, department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official, and also including any judicial office, official or body or committee thereof but only in respect to its or their administrative functions, shall not exceed twenty-five cents per page; and

            (B)  By all other public agencies, as defined in section 1-200, shall not exceed fifty cents per page.  If any copy provided in accordance with said Freedom of Information Act requires a transcription, or if any person applies for a transcription of a public record, the fee for such transcription shall not exceed the cost thereof to the public agency.

            (b)  The fee for any copy provided in accordance with subsection (a) of section 1-211 shall not exceed the cost thereof to the public agency.  In determining such costs for a copy, other than for a printout which exists at the time that the agency responds to the request for such copy, an agency may include only:

            (1)  An amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to all agency employees engaged in providing the requested computer-stored public record, including their time performing the formatting or programming functions necessary to provide the copy as requested, but not including search or retrieval costs except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection;

            (2)  An amount equal to the cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional electronic copying service to provide such copying services, if such service is necessary to provide the copying as requested;

            (3)  The actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and

            (4)  The computer time charges incurred by the agency in providing the requested computer-stored public record where another agency or contractor provides the agency with computer storage and retrieval services.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the fee for any copy of the names of registered voters shall not exceed three cents per name delivered or the cost thereof to the public agency, as determined pursuant to this subsection, whichever is less.  The Department of Administrative Services shall provide guidelines to agencies regarding the calculation of the fees charged for copies of computer-stored public records to ensure that such fees are reasonable and consistent among agencies.

            (c)  A public agency may require the prepayment of any fee required or permitted under the Freedom of Information Act if such fee is estimated to be ten dollars or more.  The sales tax provided in chapter 219 shall not be imposed upon any transaction for which a fee is required or permissible under this section or section 1-227.

            (d)  The public agency shall waive any fee provided for in this section when:

            (1)  The person requesting the records is an indigent individual;

            (2)  The records located are determined by the public agency to be exempt from disclosure under subsection (b) of section 1-210;

            (3)  In its judgment, compliance with the applicant's request benefits the general welfare;

            (4)  The person requesting the record is an elected official of a political subdivision of the state and the official (A) obtains the record from an agency of the political subdivision in which the official serves, and (B) certifies that the record pertains to the official’s duties; or

            (5)  The person requesting the records is a member of the Division of Public Defender Services or an attorney appointed by the court as a Division of Public Defender Services assigned counsel under section 51-296 and such member or attorney certifies that the record pertains to the member's or attorney's duties.

            (e)  Except as otherwise provided by law, the fee for any person who has the custody of any public records or files for certifying any copy of such records or files, or certifying to any fact appearing therefrom, shall be for the first page of such certificate, or copy and certificate, one dollar; and for each additional page, fifty cents.  For the purpose of computing such fee, such copy and certificate shall be deemed to be one continuous instrument.

            (f)  The Secretary of the State, after consulting with the chairperson of the Freedom of Information Commission, the Commissioner of Correction and a representative of the Judicial Department, shall propose a fee structure for copies of public records provided to an inmate, as defined in section 18-84, in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.  The Secretary of the State shall submit such proposed fee structure to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration, not later than January 15, 2000.

            (g)  Any individual may copy a public record through the use of a hand-held scanner. A public agency may establish a fee structure not to exceed twenty dollars for an individual to pay each time the individual copies records at the agency with a hand-held scanner. As used in this section, “hand-held scanner” means a battery operated electronic scanning device the use of which (1) leaves no mark or impression on the public record, and (2) does not unreasonably interfere with the operation of the public agency. (1949 Rev., §3625; P.A. 59-352, §1; P.A. 75-342, §5; P.A. 77-609, §3; P.A. 89-251, §56; P.A. 90-307, §4; P.A. 91-347, §2; P.A. 93-188, §1; P.A. 94-112, §1; P.A. 95-144, §1; P.A. 97-47, §§2, 3; June 18 Sp. Sess., P.A. 97-9, §25; P.A. 99-71, §2; P.A. 99-156, §2; P.A. 00-66, §6; P.A. 02-137, §3; P.A. 09-03, §140; P.A. 11-51, §§19, 76; P.A. 11-150, §22; P.A. 11-220, §3; P.A. 12-205, §1).