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  • Updated: 04/25/2012

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 9 exemptions and 3 exclusions contained in the Act.

Before submitting a request under FOIA, individuals should try to determine whether the information sought is already in the public domain and whether it is or may be held by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI has a wealth of information available in both published and electronic formats. A search of NCI's website, www.cancer.gov, can be helpful in locating information and lists of available publications.

If data produced under an NCI grant are sought, the data will be released under FOIA only if specific requirements are met.

It is important to note that FOIA allows agencies to recover part of the costs associated with responding to requests. Department of Health and Human Services regulations describe specific rules for fees, requesting a fee waiver, and reducing fees.

Questions about FOIA and requests for information held by NCI can be directed either to the NCI FOIA Office or to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) FOIA Office.

The NCI FOIA Office is located at:

Building 31, Room 10A48
31 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: 301-496-2999
Fax number: 301-435-2931

The NIH FOIA Office is located at:

Building 31, Room 5B35
31 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: 301-496-5633
Fax number: 301-402-4541