.12 Fees.

A. The fee schedule for copying and certifying copies of records is as follows:

(1) Copies.

(a) The fee for each copy made is 25 cents per page if reproduction is made by a standard printer or photocopying or scanning machine within the Department;

(b) The fee for each copy made otherwise shall be based on the actual cost of reproduction.

(2) Certification of Copies. If a person requests that a copy of a public record be certified as a true copy, an additional fee of $1 per page (or, if appropriate, per item) shall be charged.

(3) Minimum Fee Charged. A charge will not be made if the total amount of the fee would be $5 or less.

B. Notwithstanding §A of this regulation, if the fees for copies, print-outs, photographs, or certified copies of any public record are specifically prescribed by a law other than the Act or this regulation, the prescribed fee shall be charged.

C. If the custodian is unable to copy a public record within the Department, the custodian shall make arrangements for the prompt reproduction of the record at public or private facilities outside the Department. The custodian shall either collect from the applicant a fee to cover the actual cost of reproduction or direct the applicant to pay the cost of reproduction directly to the facility making the copy.

D. Before copying a record, the custodian shall estimate the cost of reproduction, including any search and preparation fees, and either obtain the agreement of the applicant to pay the cost or require prepayment of any estimated fee before reproducing the record.

E. Search and Preparation Fees.

(1) Except as provided in §E(2) of this regulation, the official custodian may charge reasonable fees for time expended fulfilling the following tasks:

(a) Searching for requested public records;

(b) Reviewing requested public records for potential disclosure; and

(c) Preparing public records for inspection and copying.

(2) The official custodian may not charge any search or preparation fee for the first 2 hours of time that is needed to respond to a request to copy or inspect a public record.

F. Waiver or Reduction of Fee.

(1) The official custodian may waive or reduce any fee charged pursuant to this regulation if:

(a) The applicant requests a waiver; and

(b) The custodian determines that the waiver or reduction is in the public interest or if the applicant is indigent and files an affidavit verifying the facts support a claim of indigency.

(2) In determining whether a fee is in the public interest, the custodian shall consider, among other relevant factors, the ability of the applicant to pay the fee.

G. If the applicant requests that copies of a public record be mailed or delivered to the applicant or a third party, the custodian may charge the applicant for the cost of postage or delivery.