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FIA-13-0029 - In the Matter of Post Register

On June 12, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision remanding an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Department of Energy’s Idaho Operations Office (IOO). The Appellant, Post Register, contested the IOO’s adequacy of search for responsive documents and determination that most of the requested documents were not agency records.  The OHA concluded that the IOO did not demonstrate that the requested records – pertaining to “vulnerable non-safety measures” – were contractor-owned. The IOO’s contract, the Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (“DEAR”), did not contain a clause identifying such records as contractor-owned.  Thus, OHA relied on the language in the DEAR stating that records not identified as contractor-owned are the property of the government.  Therefore, the OHA remanded the Appeal.