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FOIA Cases

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December 4, 2015
FIA-15-0065 - In the Matter of Greg Marlowe

On December 4, 2015, OHA granted a FOIA Appeal filed by Greg Marlowe from a determination issued to him by the DOE Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the redactions made in the responsive documents.  In considering the appeal, OHA found that the redactions made under FOIA Exemptions 5 and 6 were overbroad and, in some cases, improper. OHA remanded the responsive documents to OIR to reconsider the breadth of their use of these exemptions.

November 24, 2015
FIA-15-0056 - In the Matter of Alan Butler

On November 24, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Alan Butler of the Electronic Privacy Information Center from a determination issued to him by the DOE Office of Information Resources. In his Appeal, Mr. Butler challenged the OIR’s finding that the DOE had no documents responsive to its request for records “interpreting or addressing the collection, retention, dissemination, or sharing of electronic communications or metadata” under Executive Order 12333. Reviewing the scope of the DOE’s search for responsive records, OHA determined that a single responsive document existed: agency procedures adopted under that Executive Order, which are publicly available. While it found that OIR should have identified these procedures as responsive to Mr. Butler’s request, OHA found that the DOE’s search for responsive documents was otherwise reasonably calculated to uncover the sought materials. Therefore, OHA denied the Appeal.

November 17, 2015
FIA-15-0057 - In the Matter of Julie A. Reddick

On November 17, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Julie A. Reddick (Appellant) from a determination issued to her by the DOE Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged OIR’s decision to withhold, pursuant to Exemptions 5 and 7(E) of the FOIA, a draft investigation report prepared on behalf of the Employee Concerns Program at DOE Headquarters. OHA found that Exemption 5 was applicable to the report because it was a draft document reflecting the opinions and observations of the author and was therefore both predecisional and deliberative.

November 12, 2015
FIA-15-0060 - In the Matter of R. James Valvo, III

On November 12, 2015, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA appeal (Appeal) from a determination issued by the DOE’s Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, Mr. Valvo (Appellant), challenged an OIR determination to withhold portions of documents relating to certain communications between White House and DOE staff. OIR provided the Appellant with five E-mail chains but withheld portions of the documents pursuant to Exemptions 5 and 6.

November 10, 2015
FIA-15-0058 - In the Matter of Bradley P. Jones

On November 10, 2015, OHA granted in part and denied in part a FOIA and Privacy Act Appeal filed by Bradley P. Jones from a determination issued to him by the DOE Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the use of Exemptions 5, 6, 7(A), 7(C), and 7(D) and the adequacy of the search for responsive documents. OHA found that although the use of the exemptions was appropriate, in some instances, OIG inadvertently redacted words that should not have been withheld. OHA remanded these documents to OIG to make this correction.

October 29, 2015
FIA-15-0054 - In the Matter of Philip Zwiefelhofer

On October 29, 2015, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Philip Zwiefelhofer (Appellant) from a determination issued to him by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the NNSA’s finding that any responsive records in the possession of Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the management and operating contractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory, would not be “agency records” subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

October 23, 2015
FIA-15-0050 - In the Matter of Dan Zegart

On October 23, 2015, OHA issued a decision granting in part an appeal (Appeal) FOIA determination issued by the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). In the Appeal, Mr. Dan Zegart (Appellant), challenged two NETL partial determinations in which it withheld portions of documents relating to clean coal and carbon capture technology. NETL provided the Appellant with a number of documents but withheld portions of the documents pursuant to FOIA Exemptions 4, 5, and 6.

October 1, 2015
FIA-15-0053 - In the Matter of Michael Isikoff

On October 1, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Michael Isikoff (Appellant) from an interim response issued to him by the DOE’s Office of Information Resources. In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the denial of his request for expedited processing. In support of his expedited processing request, the Appellant contended that there existed an urgency to inform the public because the subject of his FOIA request related to a potential issue in the presidential election.

September 25, 2015
FIA-15-0051 - In the Matter of Robert H. Leyse

On September 25, 2015, OHA denied in part and remanded in part a FOIA Appeal filed by Robert H. Leyse (Appellant) from a determination issued to him by the DOE’s Idaho Operations Office (IOO). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of the DOE’s search for responsive documents. OHA found that IOO had conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover relevant documents. However, OHA also found that the request should have been referred to the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) and so remanded the request to OIR for referral to NE. 

September 16, 2015
FIA-15-0047 - In the Matter of Julie Reddick

On September 16, 2015, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Julie Reddick (Appellant) from a determination issued to her by the DOE’s Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of the OIR’s search for the requested document. OHA found, however, that no additional search was necessary because the requested document did not exist. Accordingly, OHA denied the Appeal.