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.
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.