DCRA’s Compliance with District FOIA’s Allowable Cost Provisions

On August 1, 2022, the Director of Open Government issued Advisory Opinion, #OOG-2022-003_AO. The Advisory Opinion made the following findings and conclusions regarding the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' ("DCRA") implementation of FOIA: (1) under D.C. FOIA the Dupont East Civic Action Association (“DECAA”) is within the “other-use” category of requesters; (2) DCRA may only assess reasonable standard charges for document search and duplication for “other-use” requesters; (3) DCRA’s assessment of document review fees to DECAA violates D.C FOIA’s allowable cost provisions; and (4) DECAA qualifies for a fee waiver under the public interest exception because disclosure of the information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of operations or activities of DCRA and is not primarily in the commercial interest of DECAA.