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FIA-12-0066 - In the Matter of Chadbourne & Parke LLP

On November 8, 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 Loan Programs Office (LPO). The Appellant, Chadbourne & Parke LLP, contested the application of FOIA Exemption 5 in withholding portions of documents that the LPO produced in response to the Appellant’s FOIA request.  The LPO stated that the documents were withheld pursuant to the deliberative process privilege of Exemption 5. The OHA reviewed the withheld information, and determined that the LPO properly invoked the deliberative process privilege as the nature of the withheld information was predecisional and contained opinions pertaining to the Appellant’s loan application with DOE. Therefore, the OHA denied the Appeal.