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FIA-13-0057 - In the Matter of Shawn R. Hughes

On September 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 Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI). The Appellant, Shawn R. Hughes, contested the adequacy of OSTI’s search of records, and also argued that the Office of Information Resources (OIR) should have transferred his FOIA Request to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) to conduct a search for records. After the Appeal was filed, OIR informed OHA that it transferred the Appellant’s FOIA Request to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for further processing as the NNSA has jurisdiction over LLNL and SNL.  Moreover, OSTI explained that it conducted a search using the terms in the FOIA Request, of its classified and unclassified databases.  OHA determined that OSTI’s search for responsive records was reasonable.  Therefore, OHA denied the Appeal.