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FIA-14-0028 - In the Matter of Martha J. McNeely

On June 2, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office (ORO). The Appellant, Martha McNeely, contested the adequacy of ORO’s search for responsive documents and claimed that a search for documents should have also been conducted under the Privacy Act.  The OHA reviewed ORO’s description of its search, indicating that searches were conducted under both the FOIA and the Privacy Act at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the Pacific Northwest Laboratory, and that search terms specifically pertaining to the Appellant’s FOIA Request were applied.  Nonetheless, ORO could not locate any responsive documents.  Therefore, OHA concluded that ORO conducted an adequate search for records and denied the Appeal.