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FIA-12-0063 - In the Matter of Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.

On October 31, 2012, 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 Department of Energy’s Golden Field Office (GFO). Specifically, the Appellant, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, contested the adequacy of the GFO’s search, contending that based on the documents that the GFO provided to the Appellant, additional responsive documents should have been produced.  The OHA reviewed the GFO’s description of its search and determined that the GFO conducted an adequate search for responsive documents.  Furthermore, the GFO explained that the documents that it provided to the Appellant were not in fact responsive to the Appellant’s FOIA request, but were offered as an accommodation to the Appellant.  Hence, to the extent that the Appellant requested additional documents related to the non-responsive documents that the GFO provided, the OHA agreed with the GFO that it did not have to search for, or produce, those additional requested documents. Therefore, the OHA denied the Appeal.