Judge James Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that when Congress said in its 2007 amendments to the FOIA that agencies could not charge fees except for exceptional circumstances when they failed to process the request within the statutory time period they actually meant just that. Judge Boasberg ruled against the Department of the Interior's National Park Service where they tried to charge fees in a case where they ruled against the requester's fee waiver request but did so after the 20 days had expired.
For those of us who have tried to bring this provision of the FOIA to the attention of FOIA Officers and Appeal Offices but have been routinely ignored, this is a very positive result. While no one wants to see FOIA Offices lose funding, their failure to process requests in a timely manner now has results that affect their bottom line.
Update -- the comment below makes a good point (one that I had obviously forgotten) -- fees collected are not related to operating costs of FOIA Operations; and I'm not sure anyone actually takes this into consideration when budgeting for FOIA Operations.