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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.

To help you determine if filing a FOIA request is the best option for you, visit

DHA Freedom of Information Service Center

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) Freedom of Information Service Center has principal authority to ensure DHA and its components are in full compliance with the FOIA.  Under FOIA, Federal agencies and components are required to make records available to the public unless one of nine (9) specific exemptions authorizes their withholding. Only Federal Executive Branch agencies and components must comply with FOIA. FOIA does not extend to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies, as each state has its own public access laws that should be consulted for access to state and local records.

The best method to submit a FOIA Request to DHA is online via the National FOIA Portal at  Click “Start Request”, then type “Defense Health Agency” into the search box.

DHA Freedom of Information Service Center
7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101
Falls Church, Virginia 22042-5101
Phone: 1-703-275-6017
Fax: 1-703-275-6386
Send an E-mail Message

DHA FOIA Public Liaison

If you are concerned about service received from the DHA FOIA Service Center, please contact the FOIA Public Liaison at:

ATTN: DHA FOIA Public Liaison
Defense Health Agency
7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101
Falls Church, VA  22042-5101
Phone: 1-703-275-6017

DoD FOIA Policy Office

Policy Office

DHA FOIA Subcomponents

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Defense Centers of Excellence

Fort Belvoir Community Hospital

National Museum of Health & Medicine

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

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FOIA Exemptions

Fact Sheet

Not all records are required to be released under the FOIA. Congress established nine exemptions from disclosure for certain categories of information to protect against certain harms, such as an invasion of personal privacy, or harm to law enforcement investigations. The FOIA authorizes agencies to withhold information when they reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by one of these nine exemptions.

Recommended Content:

Freedom of Information Act

32 CFR Part 286: DoD Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program


This document is the Department of Defense’s Interim Final Rule as published in the Federal Register.

DoD Directive 5400.07: DoD Freedom of Information Act Program


This Directive reissues DoD Directive 5400.07, “DoD Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program,” January 2, 2008 (hereby cancelled) to update policies and responsibilities for implementing the DoD FOIA Program in accordance with Section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the “FOIA”).

OIP Summary of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016


Public Law #114-185 --

DoD Directive 5400.11: Department of Defense Privacy Program


This Regulation is reissued under the authority of DoD Directive 5400.11, “DoD Privacy Program,” May 8, 2007. It provides guidance on section 552a of title 5 United States Code (U.S.C.), the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and prescribes uniform procedures for implementation of the DoD Privacy Program.

Examples of PII

Fact Sheet

Personally identifiable information (PII) is information that identifies, links, relates, or is unique to, or describes you. This also includes information which can be used to distinguish or trace your identity and any other personal information which is linked or linkable to you.

Recommended Content:

Privacy Act at DHA | Privacy Impact Assessments | HIPAA Compliance within the MHS | How HIPAA Protects You | Submit a Data Sharing Application | Breaches of PII and PHI | Freedom of Information Act | DHA Privacy Contract Language | Research Protections | Privacy Act and HIPAA Privacy Training

E-Government (E-Gov) Act of 2002, Section 208


The purpose of this section of the E-Government Act of 2002 is to ensure sufficient protections for the privacy of personal information as agencies implement citizen-centered electronic government.

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DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

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