DOD User Fees:
Implementation Status of Section 1085 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001
GAO-03-265R: Published: Oct 31, 2002. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2002.
Section 1085 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 authorized the military department secretaries to (1) charge fees to persons requesting information from the primary military archives and (2) retain collected fees to help defray costs associated with providing the information. The military archives also have authority under the User Charge Statute and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to charge for general information provided to the public. The Conference Report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 directs the Comptroller General to provide a report 1 year after implementation of the act on the fees collected and the associated costs of providing historical information. GAO found that Section 1085 authorizes but does not require action by the four primary military archives. Because of this, only the Army Military History Institute has implemented a fee schedule. Officials of the other three archives stated that the archives have no plans to implement a fee schedule under Section 1085. The Army Military History Institute first implemented a Section 1085 fee schedule in October 2001 and modified it in April 2002 to simplify some of the fees and increase mailing fees to foreign addresses. In a prior report, GAO recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) update the FOIA and User Charge fee schedules, which had not been revised since 1986. DOD implemented a new fee schedule for FOIA requests on July 1, 2002. Regarding fees under the User Charge Statute, a draft revision to the DOD Financial Management Regulation is currently in the process of coordination.