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FIA-12-0039 - In the Matter of National Security Archive

the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) Director denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by the National Security Archive (Appellant) of a final determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  The Appellant documents related to the “First Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” held in Helsinki, Finland on May 2-5, 1989.  OIR forwarded the request to the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) and the Executive Secretariat (ES) for a search of their records.  ES responded that the records were not within their purview and OIR sent a letter to the Appellant informing them of that fact.  OPIA conducted a search of its records and did not locate responsive documents.  In its Appeal, NSA challenged the search for responsive records, including whether OPIA searched for responsive records at the National Records Center.  OHA contacted OPIA to ascertain the scope of its search for responsive documents; however, OPIA provided no response.  Based on that information, OHA granted the Appeal in part and remanded to OIR so that the request may be forwarded to OPIA for an explanation of its search for responsive records and a determination whether responsive documents exist.