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FIA-14-0003 - In the Matter of Wynship W. Hillier

Wynship W. Hillier filed an Appeal regarding a request that he filed under the Freedom of Information Act for any information in the Agency’s possession about him.  In a December 2013 determination, the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) indicated that it its search for records responsive to Mr. Hillier’s request yielded two documents, which NNSA released in their entirety to Mr. Hillier.  In his Appeal, Mr. Hillier challenged the adequacy of NNSA’s search.  OHA’s review of Mr. Hillier’s appeal indicated that he sought more information on appeal than in the underlying FOIA request.  OHA noted that such an attempt to use the administrative appeal process to expand the scope of a FOIA request is not permitted.  With respect to NNSA’s determination, OHA concluded that NNSA’s search in response to Mr. Hillier’s FOIA request was reasonably calculated to reveal records responsive to the request, despite the fact that it did not yield the amount of documents that Mr. Hillier expected.  Therefore, the search was adequate.  Accordingly, OHA denied Mr. Hillier’s appeal.