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November 20, 2014
FIA-14-0070 - In the Matter of Torres Consulting & Law Group, LLC

On November 20, 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 and Law Group, LLC (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Richland Operations Office.  In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged Richland’s withholdings under Exemption 4.  OHA found that Richland properly withheld the information under Exemption 4, as the information consisted of contractors’ commercial and financial information, the release of which would cause the contractors substantial competitive harm.  TOHA denie

November 14, 2014
FIA-15-0006 - In the Matter of Cause of Action

On November 14, 2014, the Appellant filed a request with DOE for access to the text messages, Blackberry messenger chats, and SMS messages sent or received during the time period of November 2, 2014, to November 8, 2014, by the following DOE employees (and/or the person who then held the named position):

Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy
Kevin Knobloch, Chief of Staff
Brendan Daly, Director of Public Affairs
Bradley Crowell, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
Rhonda Carter, White House Liaison

November 7, 2014
FIA-14-0066 - In the Matter of Great Lakes Wind Truth

On November 7,  2014, OHA issued a decision granting an Appeal filed by Great Lakes Wind Truth (the Appellant) of a determination that the DOE’s Golden Field Office issued to it regarding the Appellant’s September 2014 Freedom of Information Act request.  In its determination, GO identified and released various documents responsive to the Appellant’s request, withholding some in their entirety, releasing others in their entirety, and withholding portions of the remaining documents, pursuant to FOIA Exemptions 3, 4, 5, and 6.  In its Appeal, the Appellant challenged the applicability of Exe

November 4, 2014
FIA-14-0071 - In the Matter of Alex Wellerstein

On November 4, 2014, Alex Wellerstein (Appellant) filed an Appeal from a determination issued to him by the Office of Resource Management (RM) of the Office of Environment, Health, Safety, and Security of the Department of Energy (DOE) (Request No. HQ-2014-01568-F).  In that determination, RM responded to a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, as implemented by the DOE in 10 C.F.R. Part 1004.  RM released three documents to the Appellant.  This Appeal, if granted, would require RM to perform an additional search for responsive documents.

October 24, 2014
FIA-14-0056 - In the Matter of DLA Piper

On October 24, 2014, OHA issued a decision remanding an Appeal of a FOIA determination issued by the DOE Office of Information Resources (OIR).  The Appellant, DLA Piper, appealed OIR’s decision to withhold portions of a released document pursuant to Exemption 4.  Some of the withheld information originated with DOE and is not eligible for withholding under Exemption 4.  The remaining withheld information was commercial or financial information obtained from a Person under Exemption 4; however, OIR’s analysis was insufficient to determinate whether the release of such information was likel

October 17, 2014
FIA-14-0068 - In the Matter of Martin Becker

On October 17, 2014, Martin Becker appealed a September 25, 2014, determination that he received from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Information Resources (OIR), the DOE office responsible for processing requests at DOE Headquarters.  In that determination, OIR responded to a June 10, 2014, request for documents that Mr. Becker filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, as implemented by the DOE in 10 C.F.R.

October 14, 2014
FIA-14-0055 - In the Matter of Tom Clements

Tom Clements (the Appellant) appealed a FOIA determination that the DOE’s Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SR) issued to him regarding his August 2014 Freedom of Information Act request.  DOE-SR issued a determination releasing one of two requested documents in its entirety, and withholding the second requested document on the grounds that it was not an “agency record” subject to disclosure under the FOIA.  On appeal, OHA found that DOE-SR properly denied the Appellant’s FOIA request because the document at issue not an agency record for purposes of the FOIA.  In addition, contract be

October 7, 2014
FIA-14-0064 - In the Matter of Tri-Valley CAREs

On October 7, 2014, The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied an Appeal filed by Tri-Valley CAREs (Tri-Valley) under the FOIA of a final determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).  Tri-Valley’s request sought “all documents containing information pertaining to the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Revised Plutonium Strategy and/or the Alternative Plutonium Strategy from July 11, 2012 to [November 20, 2013].”  In response to this request, NNSA released portions of one responsive document under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), fro

October 6, 2014
FIA-14-0050 - In the Matter of Southeastern Legal Foundation

On October 6, 2014, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal (FOIA) filed by Southeastern Legal Foundation (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged OIR’s withholdings under Exemption 4 and the adequacy of the search conducted for responsive documents.  OHA found that OIR properly withheld the information under Exemption 4, as the information consisted of financial information specifically related to grants and also scientific proposals

September 29, 2014
FIA-14-0084 - In the Matter of Torres Law Group, LLC

On September 29, 2014, the Appellant filed a request with Richland for “[a]ll certified payroll records for Intermech Inc. covering all work performed . . . [and] [c]opies of employee time sheets in support of the referenced certified payroll reports” for work performed under Contract No. 36883 Release 19, the Realignment of Extraction Wells ME51 and ME52, at the Hanford Nuclear Site.  Request Letter dated September 29, 2014, from Anna L.