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FOIA Cases

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April 26, 2013
FIA-13-0019 - In the Matter of Emily Meredith

On April 25, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision remanding an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR) and Office of Nuclear Energy (NE).  The Appellant appealed the OIR and NE’s decision to withhold a draft plan in its entirety pursuant to Exemption 5.

April 25, 2013
FIA-13-0015 - In the Matter of Cause of Action

On April 24, 2013, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) granted in part a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by the Cause of Action (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Loan Guarantee Program Office (LGPO). In its request, the Appellant asked for the names of 460 applicants who have applied to LGPO since its inception along with additional information about those applicants.

April 25, 2013
FIA-13-0020 - In the Matter of Avery R. Webster

On April 25, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  The Appellant appealed the OIR’s decision to withhold portions of the released documents pursuant to Exemption 5 and contested the adequacy of its search.  The OIR stated that portions of the documents were withheld pursuant to the attorney-client and deliberative process privileges of Exemption 5.

April 11, 2013
FIA-13-0014 - In the Matter of Aaron Silberstein

On April 11, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Department of Energy’s Bonneville Power Administration. BPA released information responsive to a request that the Appellant filed. However, BPA redacted, pursuant to Exemption 5 of the FOIA, some of the information in the responsive records. The Appellant appealed BPA’s determination, asserting that it did not justify how the withheld information was part of the deliberative process of BPA.

April 11, 2013
FIA-13-0005 - In the Matter of Cause of Action

On April 11, 2013, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) granted in part a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by the Sierra Club (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Loan Guaranty Program Office (LGPO). In its request, the Appellant asked for all documents generated since January 2009 related to or referring to requests made to the IRS for information about whether an applicant for a loan under any DOE program has a delinquent tax account. LGPO released documents to the Appellant but withheld some information under Exemptions 4 and 6.

April 11, 2013
FIA-13-0021 - In the Matter of Caldera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

On April 10, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Department of Energy’s Office of Information Resources (OIR), concluding that it could not locate any responsive documents. The Appellant, Caldera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., contested the adequacy of OIR’s search for responsive documents pertaining to its FOIA request.

April 4, 2013
FIA-13-0018 - In the Matter of Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound

On April 4, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision remanding in part an Appeal from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Loan Programs Office (LPO). The Appellant appealed the LPO’s decision to withhold information in the released documents pursuant to Exemptions 2, 4, 5 and 6, claiming that the LPO’s determination letter inadequately justified its redactions. The Appellant also sought expedited processing of its Appeal, which the OHA denied, finding that there was no compelling need for expedited processing.

April 2, 2013
FIA-13-0016 - In the Matter of Newport Partners, LLC

On April 2, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Golden Field Office. The Appellant appealed the GFO’s decision to withhold portions of the released documents pursuant to Exemptions 4 and 5. The OHA reviewed the document and determined that the evaluator’s comments concerning the weaknesses and strengths of proposals were protected from release under the deliberative process privilege under Exemption 5.

March 28, 2013
FIA-13-0017 - In the Matter of Partnership for Policy Integrity

On March 28, 2013, The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) granted in part and denied in all other aspects an Appeal filed by Partnership for Policy Integrity (the Appellant) under the FOIA of two determinations issued by the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program Office (LGPO). PPI’s request sought information concerning a loan guarantee application filed by a third party. On January 17, 2013, and on February 5, 2013, LGPO issued determination letters release a total of 80 documents to the Appellant. However, LGPO withheld portions of these documents under Exemptions 4 and 6.

March 26, 2013
FIA-13-0013 - In the Matter of Taras Lyssenko

On March 26, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Golden Field Office (GFO).  The Appellant appealed the GFO’s decision to apply Exemption 4 and withhold information pursuant to the trade secrets exemption in a document that it released to the Appellant.  OHA determined that the GFO sufficiently invoked the trade secrets exemption to the withheld material.  Thus, OHA denied the Appeal.