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FOIA Cases

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April 1, 2016
FIA-16-0024 - In the Matter of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

On April 1, 2016, OHA issued a decision denying an appeal from a FOIA determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the American Civil Liberties Foundation (Appellant) challenged a determination by the OIR not to expedite the processing of the Appellant’s FOIA request. The FOIA provides that expedited processing is to be offered only when the requester demonstrates a “compelling need” or when otherwise determined by the agency. The OHA concluded that the Appellant did not demonstrate a compelling need, and therefore denied the Appeal. 

March 18, 2016
FIA-16-0021 - In the Matter of Wynship W. Hillier

On March 18, 2016, OHA denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal filed by Wynship Hillier from a determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Department of Energy.  In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of the search. OHA found, however, that NNSA had conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover the materials sought by the Appellant.

March 9, 2016
FIA-16-0020 - In the Matter of the National Security Archive

On March 9, 2016, OHA granted in part a FOIA Appeal filed by the National Security Archive (Appellant) from a determination issued to it by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In its determination, the NNSA withheld the entirety of a letter written by a former Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory pursuant to Exemption 1 of the FOIA as well as the deliberative process privilege of Exemption 5.

February 16, 2016
FIA-16-0018 - In the Matter of Wayne C. Brunsilius, Sr.

On February 16, 2016, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Wayne C. Brunsilius, Sr.

February 5, 2016
FIA-16-0017 - In the Matter of Peter Shulman

On February 5, 2015, OHA denied a Freedom of Information Act Appeal filed by Peter Shulman from a determination issued by the DOE Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the withholding of a responsive document under FOIA Exemption 5. OHA found, however, that the withholding was appropriate.

January 11, 2016
FIA-15-0067 - In the Matter of Julie Reddick

On January 11, 2015, OHA granted in part and denied in part a FOIA Appeal filed by Julie Reddick from a determination issued by the DOE Office of Information Resources (OIR). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the redactions made in the responsive document under FOIA Exemption 4.  OHA found that the some of the redactions were inappropriate and remanded the document to OIR for a new determination.

December 22, 2015
FIA-15-0066 - In the Matter of Government Accountability Project

On December 22, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Government Accountability Project from a determination issued by the DOE Office of Inspector General (OIG). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the redactions made in the responsive documents. OHA found, however, that the redactions made pursuant FOIA Exemptions 5 and 6 were appropriate. 

December 10, 2015
FIA-15-0064 - In the Matter of Alex Wellerstein

On December 10, 2015, OHA issued a Decision and Order concerning a portion of a FOIA Appeal filed by Alex Wellerstein from a determination issued to him by the National Nuclear Security Administration. In his Appeal, Dr.

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.