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July 31, 2014
FIA-14-0041 - In the Matter of Ted Sickinger

On July 31, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision remanding an Appeal from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).  The Appellant, Ted Sickinger, appealed BPA’s decision to withhold documents responsive to two parts of his FOIA Request in their entirety pursuant to Exemption 6.   As BPA did not specify the privacy concerns at issue and how they would be compromised by release of the information, OHA concluded that the justifications in BPA’s Determination Letter were conclusory and insufficient.  Acco

July 30, 2014
FIA-14-0042 - In the Matter of Tri-Valley CAREs

In May 2008, Tri-Valley CAREs submitted a revised FOIA request to the DOE for a document titled “B368 Select Agent Risk and Threat Assessment,” dated July 14, 2005.  Jan. 14, 2011, Determination Letter from Carolyn Becknell, FOIA Officer, NNSA, to Appellant.  The responsive document was released to Tri-Valley CAREs after information was redacted under Exemptions 1, 2, and 6.  Id.  NNSA described the information withheld pursuant to Exemption 2 as “High 2” information, i.e., information where “disclosure significantly risks circumvention of agency regulations or statutes.”  See  Crooker v.

July 24, 2014
FIA-14-0045 - In the Matter of Tim Hadley

On July 24, 2014, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Tim Hadley (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Oak Ridge Office (Oak Ridge).  In his Appeal, the Appellant challenged Oak Ridge’s withholdings under Exemption 6.  OHA found that Oak Ridge properly withheld the information under Exemption 6 as applied to particular individuals.  Release of the information would compromise a significant privacy interest of the persons named contractor employees.  In balancing the privacy interests found, OHA considered whether release would further the public interest by shedding

July 21, 2014
FIA-14-0040 - In the Matter of Tim Hadley

On July 21, 2014, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Tim Hadley (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  OHA also dismissed two other Appeals filed by the Appellant of determinations issued by Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and Oak Ridge Office (Oak Ridge), respectively, on procedural grounds.  In his Appeal of the OIR determination, Mr.

July 21, 2014
FIA-14-0039 - In the Matter of Tim Hadley

On July 21, 2014, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Tim Hadley (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  OHA also dismissed two other Appeals filed by the Appellant of determinations issued by Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and Oak Ridge Office (Oak Ridge), respectively, on procedural grounds.  In his Appeal of the OIR determination, Mr.

July 21, 2014
FIA-14-0036 - In the Matter of Tim Hadley

On July 21, 2014, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Tim Hadley (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  OHA also dismissed two other Appeals filed by the Appellant of determinations issued by Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and Oak Ridge Office (Oak Ridge), respectively, on procedural grounds.  In his Appeal of the OIR determination, Mr.

July 14, 2014
FIA-14-0038 - In the Matter of Tim Hadley

On June 24, 2014, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal (FOIA) filed by Tim Hadley (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  In his Appeal, the Appellant challenged OIG’s withholdings under Exemptions 4, 5, 6, and 7(C).  OHA found that OIG properly withheld the information under all four exemptions.  The information withheld under Exemption 4 was commercial and financial information the release of which would cause substantial competitive harm to the submitter because it wo

July 2, 2014
FIA-14-0034 - In the Matter of Associated Press

On July 2, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR).  In the Appeal, the Associated Press, Washington Bureau (Appellant), challenged OIR’s determination not to expedite the processing of the Appellant’s FOIA request.

June 16, 2014
FIA-14-0032 - In the Matter of Torres Consulting & Law Group, LLC

On June 16, 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 & Law Group, LLC, (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Oak Ridge Office (Oak Ridge).  In its Appeal, the Appellant challenged Oak Ridge’s finding that the requested documents were not agency records.  OHA found that despite the Appellant’s claims to the contrary, the records were not in the possession and control of Oak Ridge at the time of the request.  The appellant argued that under the Davis-Bacon Act, Oak Ridge

June 12, 2014
FIA-14-0031 - In the Matter of Rachel Cook

On June 12, 2014, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Legacy Management (LM).  The Appellant, Rachel Cook, requested all records regarding a deceased relative.  LM explained that it conducted a search through its Electronic Recordkeeping System (ERKS), and used the relative’s name and social security number as search terms.  However, LM could not locate any documents.  Accordingly, OHA concluded that LM conducted a reasonable search for documents and denied the appeal.