United States Department of Health & Human Services

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management

Program Support Center


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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal statue that allows individuals to request access to federal agency records, except to the extent records are protected from disclosure by the Freedom of Information Act.

What We Do

The Division of FOIA Services handles Privacy Act requests for PSC records, and FOIA requests for records in the custody of the Office of Public Health Service (OPHS) the PSC, and the Rockville, Atlanta, and Baltimore Human Resource Centers. In addition, the Division reviews the appeals that are filed as a result of a requester receiving a denial by one of the Public Health Service Agencies. We respect the right of the public to access information in the possession of the Department, but also protect privileged information.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a means by which the general public can obtain access to agency records. The FOIA requires federal agencies to disclose records requested by the public unless the record, or a portion thereof, may be withheld pursuant to one or more of the nine exemptions contained in the Act. Public information documents such as press releases, publications, speeches, etc, are available from PSC without filing a FOIA request. You can use the PSC search engine to help you locate documents on the PSC website. You may also wish to use the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Government Information Locator Service (GILS) to search for major information systems maintained by HHS. See http://www.psc.gov/aos/foia/about.html.

The Freedom of Information Act generally provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions. Our policy is to answer all requests as accurately and completely as possible from existing records. In order to accomplish this most efficiently we require all requests to be submitted in writing, by postal service, facsimile, messenger or email (link); requests must contain the requestor's postal address and the name of the person responsible for paying any fees that may be charged. A phone number where we can reach the requester to get clarification of the request or resolve other issues concerning the request is strongly recommended. Providing the request in writing assures that all the rights provided by the FOIA and these regulations are protected.

Fees For FOIA Services

Departmental FOIA Regulations allow us to recover part of the costs associated with the processing of FOIA requests. Unless you state a specific fee limit in your request, we will assume that you are willing to pay all the fees incurred in the processing of your request and will not contact you concerning the FOIA fees. Some fees are exempt.

FOIA Office

Contact Information

PSC FOIA Public Liaison
Carol Maloney
Division of FOIA Services
Room 17A-46 5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
301-443-0925 (fax)

PSC FOIA Requester Service Center
Division of FOIA Services
Room 17A-46
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
301-443-0925 (fax)

Related Topics

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FOIA Requester Service Centers

Each FOIA office in HHS has a FOIA Requester Service Center that processes relevant FOIA requests.

  • AoA - Administration on Aging
  • ACF - Administration for Children and Families
  • AHRQ - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CMS - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • FDA - Food and Drug Administration
  • HRSA - Health Resources and Services Administration
  • IHS - Indian Health Service
  • NIH - National Institutes of Health
  • OIG - Office of Inspector General
  • PSC - Program Support Center
  • PHS - Public Health Service
  • SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Last revised: September 3, 2008


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