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FOIA Reading Room

FOIA Reading Room

The Freedom of Information Act, FOIA [5 USC 552(a)(2)(D)], requires that certain documents of interest to the general public be published electronically. HHS is making these documents available to the general public in electronic form.

 All records are stored as a repository, in the FOIA Reading Room, in the appropriate format, where paper copies of all documents are available for inspection and copying.

HHS posts information to the FOIA Reading Room on a scheduled basis or on demand, where in individual requesters can download the requisite information without having to make a formal FOIA request.

The FOIA reading room is updated on a timely basis, based on the frequency of the request received by the agency.


The following types of documents can be found in the reading room:

(1) Final opinions and orders made in adjudicating cases;

(2) Final statements of policy and interpretations which have not been published in the Federal Register;

(3) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;

(4) Copies of records that have been the subject of a FOIA request and that are of sufficient public interest or curiosity that the agency believes other persons are likely to request them; and

(5) Agency's annual FOIA report--which includes such information as the number of requests received by the agency, the amount of time taken to process requests, the total amount of fees collected by the agency, information regarding the backlog of pending requests, and other information about the agency's handling of FOIA requests. Beside the above categories, other documents may also be available in the FOIA Reading Room. You can view any document(s) in the FOIA Reading Room and also download it.

Note: Please read the search tips provided, before searching for documents, by clicking the Search Tips button on the FOIA Reading Room screen.

To search and view documents in the FOIA Reading Room:

1. Click on the FOIA Reading Room link on the menu.

2. Enter the document name and the custom field information for the document and click Search else click Clear to clear all previously entered values.

3. Select the document type under which the document is listed.

4. All documents are displayed by document name, published date and the no. of pages contained. Click on the document name to view the document information.

5. You can also choose to download the document, which is in a zipped format, then download the document on your local system and unzip it to read it.

6. If the document is in a PDF format, then you must have an Adobe Acrobat reader, version 3.0 or higher to be able to read the document.

7. Click on the arrow symbol (located to the extreme right of the screen) to go back to the FOIA Reading Room screen.

The FOIA Reading Room includes the following:

Search for Documents in Reading Room
Reading Room File CabinetDescription
Final OpinionsThis category of records includes final opinions and orders issued in the adjudication of administrative cases.
Policy StatementsThis category of records includes certain policy statements issued or approved by HHS that concern the general public.
Administrative Staff ManualsThis category of records available for inspection includes HHS Administrative Staff Manuals that may affect the public.
Frequently Requested RecordsThis category of records includes all records that have been the subject of at least three FOIA requests.
2016/17 Transition DocsFolder containing all released 2016/2017 HHS Transition Documents

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