Pricing Policy for Information Products and Services provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 16:41:03 -0500 To: "E - All WRD Employees"
From: "Robert M. Hirsch, Chief Hydrologist, USGS" (by way of Jan Arneson) Subject: WRD Memorandum No. 98.03--Pricing Policy for Information Products and Services provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division Cc: " WRD Archive File, " The following WRD Memorandum 98.03 is being distributed by hard copy with attachments. The memo follows without attachments. In Reply Refer To: Mail Stop 441 July 31, 1998 WATER RESOURCES DIVISION MEMORANDUM NO. 98.03 Subject: Pricing Policy for Information Products and Services provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division The following policy provides guidelines for recovering the full cost of information products and services provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Water Resources Division (WRD). Guidelines contained in this policy are effective October 1, 1998, and rescind WRD Memorandum No. 86.71, dated June 18, 1986. Policy It is WRD's policy to recover full costs for the sale of information products and for providing services to the Federal and non-Federal sector. Full cost recovery includes all direct and indirect costs to any part of the Federal Government for providing a good, resource, or service (Federal Register, Vol. 58, No. 134, 1993, p. 38145). The policy covers pricing information products and services provided to customers through conventional means such as the telephone, written communications, floppy disks, etc., as well as the distribution of data and information over the Internet. Also discussed are general policy guidelines and exceptions (such as for educational purposes) to the WRD pricing policy. Pricing Information Products. In implementing this pricing policy, the price of products will be set at a level that will recover reproduction and distribution costs. These costs include direct and indirect costs associated with the dissemination of information products. Costs will not be recovered for activities associated with collecting the data, processing the data to ensure accuracy, analyzing the data, or establishing databases for archiving the data. Actual costs should be recovered for media used to provide water data and water information to customers. For example, when supplying a user with a magnetic tape containing water data, the actual cost of the magnetic tape and mailing or shipping charges are added to the labor costs for processing the data request. Services. User fees will be charged for providing services to the Federal and non-Federal sector. The user fees will be set at a level to recover the full costs associated with providing the service to a specific recipient. Wherever possible, user fees shall be set as rates rather than fixed dollar amounts in order to reflect changes in costs to WRD for the reproduction and distribution of water data and information. For example, personnel services provided by WRD should be charged at a rate of dollars per hour. The customer requesting data should be notified of the estimated time required to process the data request. Distribution of Data and Information Over the Internet No costs will be recovered for information posted to the Internet for all to use. This includes metadata about the USGS, fact sheets, reports, and other traditionally free products, including published water data from the districts. Fees will be charged for making data sets available to a specific customer. For example, a customer may request a batch file of data which requires the USGS employee to download the data, organize it, and place the data in the depot of a file server in order for the customer to use the File Transfer Protocol (ftp) to obtain the data from the file server. The customer is charged on an hourly basis for making the data available to them. Pricing schedules for information products and services provided by the WRD are shown in Tables 1 and 2 of the attachment. General Policy Guidelines The following are general guidelines for pricing water data and information requests: 1. The WRD's Pricing Schedule does not apply to the processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. These requests are processed using the U.S. Department of the Interior's uniform pricing schedule for FOIA requests. See the Code of Federal Regulations, 43 CFR, 1997 ed., Pt. 2, Appendix A. However, if a customer makes a FOIA request for water information and data that are available for sale to the public at prices set in an established fee schedule, the customer will be notified that the information and data are available for sale at prices established by the fee schedule. This request is then processed under the WRD pricing policy and not the FOIA. 2. Customers will be charged a minimum fee of $100 for processing water information and data requests requiring over 30 minutes to process. Customers will not be charged for requests taking less than 30 minutes to process. Exceptions to the Water Resources Division's Pricing Policy Cost recovery fees can be waived for the following organizations, persons, and situations if it is determined that waiving the fees will be in the public interest: o USGS cooperators - current and past o congressional requests o for any person if the information request can be processed in a short period of time (less than 30 minutes) by conducting a short telephone conversation, photocopying a few pages, or distributing a report. Cost recovery fees can also be waived for data and information provided to further bona fide outreach activities. Examples are data or information provided to: o K-12 students or teachers o Public libraries o College teachers for instructional use o Educational activities of nonprofit organizations and college students o Potential cooperators, for program development Reference 1. Office of Management and Budget, 1993, Circular A-25, "User Charges:" Federal Register, v. 58, no. 134, p. 38,142-38,146. /signed/ Robert M. Hirsch Chief Hydrologist Attachment Distribution: E This memorandum supersedes WRD Memorandum No. 86.71. *************************************************************** * Robert M. Hirsch firstname.lastname@example.org * * 409 National Center 703-648-5215 * * U.S. Geological Survey fax 703-648-5002 * * Reston, VA 20192 * ***************************************************************