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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal statute that allows individuals to request access to Federal agency records unless they are protected from disclosure.

What We Do

The Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts Division handles FOIA and Privacy Act requests. We respect the right of the public to access information in OIG's possession, but also protect privileged information.

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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.

To accomplish this most efficiently, we require all requests to be submitted in writing, by postal service, fax, messenger or email; 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 FOIA and related 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.

Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201