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Guide for Submitting a FOIA Request to PSC

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You may electronically submit your FOIA request to PSC. The request can also be submitted by mail, fax, courier, e-mail, or in person.  You need no special form.  Simply state in writing the records you are requesting, and mark both your envelope and letter "Freedom of Information Act Request."  Doing so will help to ensure that your request is forwarded to the FOIA office.  If you wish to send your request through the U.S. Postal Service, please mail it to:

Program Support Center
Division of FOIA Services
Parklawn Bldg RM 19-01
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857

If you choose to send your request through a private courier service, please send it to:

Program Support Center
Division of FOIA Services
Parklawn Bldg RM 19-01
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857

You can also contact us by fax or email at:

(301) 480-5862 (fax)
foiarequest@psc.hhs.gov

If you have any questions and would like to speak to a member of our team, you may call us at (301) 443-3403.

In your request, identify the record(s) you seek as specifically as possible to increase the likelihood that we will be able to locate them.  A vague or incomplete description could delay our response.  The more details you provide the better.  Please ensure that you also provide a full mailing address and a telephone number so that we can contact you if it becomes necessary to clarify your request.  Upon receipt, we will log in your request, assign a case number, and send you a letter acknowledging our receipt.

Your request must also contain your postal address and the name of the person responsible for paying any fees that may be charged.  For more information on fees, please visit the HHS FOIA site.  A phone number or e-mail address where we can reach you if we need clarification of your request or to resolve other issues concerning your request is strongly recommended. 

We try to process requests within 20 working days from the date it is received in the FOIA Office. However, it may take longer depending on the records you seek and the number of pending requests ahead of yours. FOIA requests are processed on a "first-in, first-out" basis. You may call the FOIA Office at the telephone number above to discuss the processing and status of your request or if you have any questions.

You may also ask for expedited processing of your request, which should be made at the time you file your FOIA request.  Expedited processing is not typically applicable for most requests, but will be granted if you (1) demonstrate an imminent threat to life or physical safety of an individual; and (2) are a member of the media and demonstrates an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged government activity.  You should also provide a description of your justification for requesting expedited processing.

We respect the right of the public to access information in the possession of the Department, but also protect privileged information.  If a record is determined to be exempt from release under the FOIA, in whole or in part, we will provide written notification of this decision.  Our letter will describe the material being withheld, the reasons for the denial and a reference to the specific FOIA exemption(s) that authorizes the withholding. The denial letter will also explain your right to appeal the decision and identify the official to whom you should send the appeal.

If you receive a denial of your FOIA request from the Division of FOIA Services, and choose to appeal it, you may do so within 30 days by writing to the Director of the News Division.  Clearly mark both the envelope and your letter “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”  Should you wish to send your appeal through the U.S. Postal Service, please mail it to:

Director, News Division
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Parklawn Bldg RM 19-01
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857

If you choose to send your appeal through a private courier service, please send it to:

Director, News Division
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Parklawn Bldg RM 19-01
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857

If you choose to send your appeal electronically through e-mail or by fax, please send it to:

foiarequest@psc.hhs.gov
(301) 480-5862 (fax)

In processing request and appeals, we follow the guidelines established in the HHS implementing Public Information Regulations, 45 CFR Part 5.

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