National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Welcome to the NCCIH FOIA Web page. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552 provides individuals with a right to access records in the possession of the Federal Government.

On this page:

NCCIH Freedom of Information Coordinator

Suzanne Freeman
Freedom of Information Coordinator, NCCIH
National Institutes of Health
Rockledge 1, Room 6054, MSC 7957
Bethesda, MD 20892-7957
Phone: 301-496-9737
Fax: 301-402-3604
E-mail NCCIH FOIA Coordinator

Guide to Submitting a FOIA request

Before submitting a request under FOIA, please ensure that the information you are seeking is information that is or may be held by NCCIH. Furthermore, the information should not already be in the public domain. A search of the NCCIH Web site can assist you in locating information and lists of available publications. You may also contact the NCCIH Clearinghouse to request assistance in finding information about NCCIH activities and research.

Requesters interested in obtaining information on federally funded biomedical research projects should consult the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORTER) database. This database will enable you to identify whether the grant was an NCCIH grant, and the grant number. The more specific information you provide in your FOIA request, the quicker and easier it is for us to readily process your request.

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Steps to Prepare Your Request

If the information you are requesting is not in the public domain, please follow these steps 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.
  • FOIA requests should be submitted in writing to the NCCIH FOIA Coordinator for processing.

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Overview of FOIA

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

The Electronic FOIA (E-FOIA) Amendments, which were signed into law in 1996, amended the Act in several ways

  • Extend from 10 to 20 business days the time that agencies have to respond to requests for information;
  • Require agencies to make reasonable efforts to make records available in formats desired by requesters;
  • Require agencies to submit the NIH FOIA Annual Report by fiscal year and require the reports to be made available to the public by computer, telecommunications, or other electronic means;
  • Require agencies to list their major information systems, record locator systems, and a reference guide or guide for obtaining information; and
  • Require agencies to establish electronic reading rooms that include agency policies, staff manuals, opinions made in the adjudication of cases, and an index of records released by FOIA that are likely to become the subject of subsequent FOIA requests.

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