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FIA-12-0038 - In the Matter of Firas Shaikh

The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision granting an appeal (Appeal) from a Privacy Act determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (IR).  The appellant filed a Privacy Act request for his personnel security file.  In its determination, IR withheld portions of five documents under Privacy Act Exemption (k)(1) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Exemptions 1, 3, and 6.  Due to the classified nature of the information withheld under Privacy Act Exemption (k)(1) and FOIA Exemption 1, the Appeal was bifurcated and the portion of the Appeal that challenged those withholdings was assigned Case No. FIC-12-0001, and will be addressed in a future decision.  Consequently, OHA addressed in this decision only the information that IR withheld under FOIA Exemptions 3 and 6.  Although it invoked FOIA Exemptions 3 and 6 to withhold portions of the five documents, IR did not invoke any Privacy Act exemptions to withhold the same information.  Without reaching whether FOIA Exemptions 3 and 6 were properly applied, OHA determined that the matter must be remanded to IR for a new determination, because any withholdings under the Privacy Act must be justified under both the Privacy Act and the FOIA.