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Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552 provides individuals with a right to access information in the possession of the U.S. federal government. The government, however, may withhold information covered by nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the Act.

NIAAA FOIA Coordinator

Isabel Ellis
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism/NIH
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304
Room 3111
Bethesda, MD 20852
Phone: 301-443-8771
Fax: 301-480-1726


How to Submit a FOIA Request

If the information you are interested in is not in the public domain, please follow the suggestions listed below when preparing your FOIA request:

  • Identify specific records requested (as applicable--grant number and principal investigator's name, subject matter of the records, dates, originating office, etc)
  • State that the records are requested under the Freedom of Information Act
  • Include contact information (address, telephone number, e-mail address) in case our office needs additional information
  • Sign the request
  • Mail, fax or e-mail the request to the FOIA Coordinator listed above

Important Information About the FOIA

Grant Applicants

If your grant application is funded, you should be aware that some or all of this application as well as documents (such as correspondence) contained in the grant file may be requested under FOIA.

"…The Freedom of Information Act and implementing DHHS regulations (45 CRF Part 5) require the release of certain information about grants, upon request, irrespective of the intended use of the information. Trade secrets and commercial, financial, or otherwise intrinsically valuable information that is obtained from a person or organization and that is privileged or confidential information may be withheld from disclosure. Information, which, if disclosed, would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, may also be withheld from disclosure. Although the grantee institution and the principal investigator will be consulted about any such release, the PHS will make the final determination. Generally available for release, upon request, except as noted above, are: all funded grant applications including their derivative funded noncompeting supplemental grant applications; pending and funded noncompeting continuation applications; progress reports of grantees; and final reports of any review or evaluation of grantee performance conducted or caused to be conducted by the DHHS. Generally, not available for release to the public are: competing grant applications (initial, competing continuation, and supplemental) for which awards have not been made; evaluative portions of site visit reports; and summary statements of findings and recommendations of review groups..."

-Grant Application (PHS 398, rev. 05/2001)

If you have questions regarding financial disclosure FOIA requests, please contact Isabel Ellis, NIAAA FOIA Coordinator, by phone (301-443-8771) or E-mail ( ).

More Information

For additional information, visit the National Institutes of Health FOIA Page.




Updated: October 2007

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