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FIA-13-0060A - In the Matter of Nuclear Watch New Mexico

On October 24, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) filed by Nuclear Watch New Mexico (the Appellant) regarding a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination it received from the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).  The Appellant filed a FOIA request with NNSA for records pertaining to a 2009 consulting agreement between an NNSA contractor and a third-party consulting company.  The Appellant contested NNSA’s determination in which NNSA concluded that, because the responsive documents were in the possession and control of the contractor at the time of the FOIA request and were not identified as DOE property in the contract between DOE and the contractor, the documents were not “agency records” subject to disclosure under the FOIA.  On appeal, OHA found that NNSA properly denied the Appellant’s FOIA request on the grounds that the requested documents were not agency record.  Therefore, OHA denied the Appeal.