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FOIA Cases

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May 17, 2016
FIA-16-0019 - In the Matter of Yogi Shan

On February 29, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Yogi Shan from a determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Department of Energy. In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the withholding of information from a responsive document pursuant to FOIA Exemption 6.  Upon review, OHA found that the withholding was appropriate. 

May 12, 2016
FIA-16-0026 - In the Matter of Republican National Committee

On May 12, 2016, OHA denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by the Republican National Committee (Appellant) from a determination issued to it by the Office of Information Resources (OIR). In its determination, the OIR withheld, pursuant to Exemption 6 of the FOIA, information in an email between former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. OIR also withheld two attachments to that email in their entirety pursuant to Exemption 6. The Appellant challenged OIR’s withholding of the attachments only.

May 4, 2016
FIA-16-0027 - In the Matter of Robert Kamansky

On May 4, 2016, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Robert Kamansky from a determination issued by the DOE Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged OIR’s withholdings under FOIA Exemption 6. OHA found that there was a significant privacy interest in the withheld information, which was not outweighed by any public interest. Therefore, OIR properly withheld the information.

April 25, 2016
FIA-16-0025 - In the Matter of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center

On April 25, 2016, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal from a determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR). In its determination, OIR denied expedited processing status to a FOIA request filed by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (Appellant) for data relating to conditions at DOE’s Rocky Flats site around the time of the 2013 Colorado floods. In its Appeal, the Appellant challenged OIR’s expedited processing denial, contending that its request merited expedited treatment for public health reasons.

April 7, 2016
FIC-16-0002 - In the Matter of the National Security Archive

On April 7, 2016, OHA issued a decision granting in part a FOIA Appeal filed by the National Security Archive from a determination issued to it by the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

April 4, 2016
FIA-16-0022 - In the Matter of Wynship Hillier

On April 4, 2016, OHA granted in part and denied in part a FOIA Appeal filed by Wynship Hillier from a determination issued by the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged whether the website to which NNSA directed him contained the entire requested document. OHA found that NNSA properly directed the Appellant to the requested document in the public domain, but that it did not properly identify and justify withholding certain information from the responsive document. 

April 4, 2016
FIC-15-0005 - In the Matter of Alex Wellerstein

On April 4, 2016, OHA granted in part and denied in part a FOIA Appeal filed by Wynship Hillier from a determination issued by the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged whether the website to which NNSA directed him contained the entire requested document. OHA found that NNSA properly directed the Appellant to the requested document in the public domain, but that it did not properly identify and justify withholding certain information from the responsive document. 

April 1, 2016
FIA-16-0024 - In the Matter of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

On April 1, 2016, OHA issued a decision denying an appeal from a FOIA determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the American Civil Liberties Foundation (Appellant) challenged a determination by the OIR not to expedite the processing of the Appellant’s FOIA request. The FOIA provides that expedited processing is to be offered only when the requester demonstrates a “compelling need” or when otherwise determined by the agency. The OHA concluded that the Appellant did not demonstrate a compelling need, and therefore denied the Appeal. 

March 18, 2016
FIA-16-0021 - In the Matter of Wynship W. Hillier

On March 18, 2016, OHA denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal filed by Wynship Hillier from a determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Department of Energy.  In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of the search. OHA found, however, that NNSA had conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover the materials sought by the Appellant.

March 9, 2016
FIA-16-0020 - In the Matter of the National Security Archive

On March 9, 2016, OHA granted in part a FOIA Appeal filed by the National Security Archive (Appellant) from a determination issued to it by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In its determination, the NNSA withheld the entirety of a letter written by a former Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory pursuant to Exemption 1 of the FOIA as well as the deliberative process privilege of Exemption 5.