What is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal access law that allows individuals to inspect public records held by government agencies. Originally passed by Congress in 1966 and later amended, the FOIA is a dynamic and evolving law and regulation that allows citizens to better understand Federal government operations.

The administration of the FOIA by government agencies can be complex, and few "across-the-board" guidelines apply. SAMHSA provides responses to requests through the Office of Communications, a part of the Office of the Administrator.

Like all Federal agencies, SAMHSA is required under the FOIA to disclose records requested in writing by any person. However, SAMHSA cannot release information that falls within the nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the statute and regulations. The FOIA applies only to Federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Each state has its own public access laws that should be consulted for access to state and local records.

Further References

You may visit SAMHSA in person to review FOIA documents at the following address:

Room 8-1042
One Choke Cherry Road
Rockville, MD 20857

Phone 240-276-2130
Fax 240-276-2135

Hours of Operation are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.

Last updated: 09/16/2010