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FIA-12-0025 - In the Matter of Center for Contract Compliance

The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (IN).  The appellant filed a FOIA request for documents relating or referring to the ‘analysis of the animal rights movement in the U.S.’” referenced in a May 11, 1989, letter from the director of the DOE’s Office of Threat Assessment to a British law enforcement official.  The request was referred to IN, which issued a determination stating that it had located no documents responsive to the request.  In the course of reviewing the appeal, OHA sought to determine which DOE office assumed the responsibilities of the former Office of Threat Assessment (OTA).  OHA was informed by an official with the NNSA’s Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation that the functions of the OTA that would have been responsible for the documents being requested became part of NNSA upon its creation in 2000, but that any such documents would no longer exist, as they would have been disposed of several years ago.  Nonetheless, this official coordinated a search of his office, after which he informed the OHA that the office located no responsive documents.   OHA therefore, denied the Appeal, concluding that the DOE had conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover the materials sought by Mr. Shapiro, and that this search was, therefore, adequate under the FOIA.