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July 31, 2014
FIA-14-0041 - In the Matter of Ted Sickinger

On July 31, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision remanding an Appeal from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).  The Appellant, Ted Sickinger, appealed BPA’s decision to withhold documents responsive to two parts of his FOIA Request in their entirety pursuant to Exemption 6.   As BPA did not specify the privacy concerns at issue and how they would be compromised by release of the information, OHA concluded that the justifications in BPA’s Determination Letter were conclusory and insufficient.  Acco

July 30, 2014
FIA-14-0042 - In the Matter of Tri-Valley CAREs

In May 2008, Tri-Valley CAREs submitted a revised FOIA request to the DOE for a document titled “B368 Select Agent Risk and Threat Assessment,” dated July 14, 2005.  Jan. 14, 2011, Determination Letter from Carolyn Becknell, FOIA Officer, NNSA, to Appellant.  The responsive document was released to Tri-Valley CAREs after information was redacted under Exemptions 1, 2, and 6.  Id.  NNSA described the information withheld pursuant to Exemption 2 as “High 2” information, i.e., information where “disclosure significantly risks circumvention of agency regulations or statutes.”  See  Crooker v.

July 14, 2014
FIA-14-0038 - In the Matter of Tim Hadley

On June 24, 2014, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal (FOIA) filed by Tim Hadley (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  In his Appeal, the Appellant challenged OIG’s withholdings under Exemptions 4, 5, 6, and 7(C).  OHA found that OIG properly withheld the information under all four exemptions.  The information withheld under Exemption 4 was commercial and financial information the release of which would cause substantial competitive harm to the submitter because it wo

July 2, 2014
FIA-14-0034 - In the Matter of Associated Press

On July 2, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  In the Appeal, the Associated Press, Washington Bureau (Appellant), challenged OIR’s determination not to expedite the processing of the Appellant’s FOIA request.

June 16, 2014
FIA-14-0032 - In the Matter of Torres Consulting & Law Group, LLC

On June 16, 2014, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal (FOIA) filed by Torres Consulting & Law Group, LLC, (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Oak Ridge Office (Oak Ridge).  In its Appeal, the Appellant challenged Oak Ridge’s finding that the requested documents were not agency records.  OHA found that despite the Appellant’s claims to the contrary, the records were not in the possession and control of Oak Ridge at the time of the request.  The appellant argued that under the Davis-Bacon Act, Oak Ridge

June 12, 2014
FIA-14-0031 - In the Matter of Rachel Cook

On June 12, 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 Office of Legacy Management (LM).  The Appellant, Rachel Cook, requested all records regarding a deceased relative.  LM explained that it conducted a search through its Electronic Recordkeeping System (ERKS), and used the relative’s name and social security number as search terms.  However, LM could not locate any documents.  Accordingly, OHA concluded that LM conducted a reasonable search for documents and denied the appeal.

June 9, 2014
FIA-14-0030 - In the Matter of Ralph Sletager

On June 9, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying in part and remanding in part an (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

June 5, 2014
FIA-14-0029 - In the Matter of Richard van Dijk

On June 5, 2014, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal (FOIA) filed by Richard van Dijk (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).  In its Appeal, the Appellant challenged the BPA’s withholdings on pages 86-95 under Exemption 5 and on page 101 as non-responsive.  OHA found that BPA’s withholdings under Exemption 5 were proper as the documents were pre-decisional and contains material that reflects DOE’s deliberative process.  OHA also found that there was no public interest i

June 2, 2014
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).

May 19, 2014
FIA-14-0027 - In the Matter of Southeastern Legal Foundation

On May 19, 2014, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) granted in part and denied in all other respects a Freedom of Information Act Appeal (FOIA) filed by Southeastern Legal Foundation (Appellant) of a determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).  In its request, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of NNSA’s search for responsive documents because it did not receive any research data generated by Dr.