An essential element of any fee waiver determination is whether the release of the particular records sought will likely contribute significantly to public understanding of the operation or activities of the Government. The SEC will release records responsive to a request without charge or at a reduced rate if the SEC determines, based on all available information, that you have demonstrated that disclosing the information is:
- Is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, and
- Is not primarily in your commercial interest.
In deciding whether you have met the criteria above, the SEC will consider the following factors:
- The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal government, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.
- The disclosable portions of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities to be "likely to contribute" to an increased public understanding of those operations or activities. Information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not contribute to such understanding.
- The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to your individual understanding. The SEC will consider your expertise in the subject area as well as your ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public.
- The public's understanding of the subject must be enhanced to a significant extent by the disclosure.