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FOIA Cases

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March 20, 2013
FIA-13-0010 - In the Matter of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

On March 20, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision remanding an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Fossil Energy (FE). The Appellant appealed the FE’s decision to withhold information in the released document pursuant to Exemption 5. The OHA concluded that the FE and the Office of Information Resources, which also redacted material in the released document, did not properly support their justifications for invoking Exemption 5, and accordingly the OHA remanded the Appeal to both Offices.

March 18, 2013
FIA-13-0009 - In the Matter of Sierra Club

On March 18, 2013, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by the Sierra Club (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Office of Information Resources (OIR). In its request, the Appellant asked for expedited processing. OIR denied the request for expedited processing. The Appellant challenged that denial. 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.

March 13, 2013
FIA-13-0008 - In the Matter of Michael J. Kelly

On March 13, 2013, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by Michael J. Kelly (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC).  The Appellant challenged the adequacy of EMCBC’s search for responsive documents.  OHA found that the requested documents were employment records and, therefore, contractor records.  Only agency records or information in the possession of the agency are subject to the FOIA.  Therefore, OHA denied the Appeal. 

February 25, 2013
TFC-0007 - In the Matter of Jeffrey T. Richelson

On February   , 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals issued a decision regarding an Appeal filed by Jeffrey T. Richelson from a determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Freedom of Information Act.  Mr. Richelson had requested specified chapters of a DOE report dating from 1981.

February 25, 2013
FIA-13-0004 - In the Matter of Torres Consulting & Law Group, LLC

On February 25, 2013, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by the Torres Consulting & Law Group, LLC, (Appellant) of a determination issued by the Loan Guarantee Program Office (LGPO).  The Appellant challenged the withholding under Exemption 4 of the FOIA of the rate of pay and the total hours worked, both daily and weekly, from the released document.  OHA found that release of that information would cause substantial competitive harm to the submitters of the information, and therefore, it was pro

February 4, 2013
FIA-13-0003 - In the Matter the National Security Archive

On February 4, 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 Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.  Among other grounds for its appeal, the Appellant appealed the OIR’s decision to withhold portions of the released documents pursuant to Exemption 6.

January 23, 2013
FIA-13-0001 - In the matter of Daniel J. Gage

On January 23, 2013, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision remanding an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Golden Field Office (GFO).  The Appellant appealed the GFO’s decision to apply Exemption 4 and withhold a settlement amount between the American Iron and Steele Institute (AISI) and the Department of Energy (DOE), which was the total amount that AISI was required to reimburse DOE pursuant to a Cooperative Agreement.

January 23, 2013
FIA-13-0002 - In the Matter of Judicial Watch

On January 23, 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 Office of Information Resources (OIR).  Among other grounds for its appeal, the Appellant appealed the OIR’s decision to withhold portions of the released documents pursuant to Exemption 5’s deliberative process privilege.

December 20, 2012
TFC-0009 - In the Matter of Environmental Defense Institute

On March 14, 2011, Environmental Defense Institute (EDI) filed an Appeal from a determination issued by the Idaho Operations Office (Idaho) of the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Freedom of Information Act. EDI filed a request in which it sought several documents concerning the Advanced Test Reactor, located at the Idaho National Laboratory. In a February 8, 2011, determination, Idaho provided responsive documents, but withheld portions of one responsive document on the basis of Exemption 3. EDI raised several challenges to the determination in its Appeal.

December 14, 2012
FIA-12-0073 - In the Matter of Larry W. Long

On December 14, 2012, 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 Information Resources (OIR). The Appellant contested the adequacy of the search for documents responsive to its FOIA request, which was conducted by the Office of Headquarters Procurements Services (OHPS).  The OHA reviewed the OHPS’ description of its search and determined that it conducted an adequate search for responsive documents. Therefore, the OHA denied the Appeal.