Fee Waiver

Fee Waiver

Utah Code Ann. §63-2-203(4) by its terms, encourages but does not require a fee waiver even where releasing the records primarily benefits the public rather than a “person”.

SITLA is unique among state agencies in that its operating costs are not tax funded, but rather drawn from the funds generated from the lands themselves.  All funds in excess of costs are deposited directly in the Permanent School Fund, so any GRAMA fee waiver is essentially a direct deduction from the financial support of the trust beneficiaries.  SITLA has been expressly directed by the Utah Constitution and the legislature to act as a trustee.  The trust responsibility imposed on SITLA requires it to act solely for the financial benefit of Utah’s K-12 public school system, and without regard to more general public interests.  Utah Cod Ann. §53C-1-102.

In light of its statutory obligations and fiduciary responsibilities to the trust beneficiaries (also unique among state agencies), SITLA does not grant fee waivers only later to find itself stuck with poor administrative precedent when a fee waiver is requested by another person in the future, where each fee waiver directly affects the financial support of the trust beneficiaries.