FIA-19-0020, FIA-19-0021, FIA-19-0022, FIA-19-0023- In the Matter of Martin Pfeiffer

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On July 11, 2019, the Office of Hearings and Appeals  (OHA) granted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeal filed by Mr. Martin Pfeiffer (Appellant) concerning the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) determination to categorize him as a commercial use requester in connection with four FOIA requests that he submitted to the NNSA. On appeal, Appellant asserted that he should be classified as an educational or noncommercial scientific requester or as a member of the news media. Appellant also argued that the NNSA previously categorized him as an educational or noncommercial scientific requester, and had failed to provide any explanation for its determination to change his categorization. NNSA explained that it had categorized Appellant as a commercial use requester because it had learned that he had posted responses to previous FOIA requests online and was charging fees for access to the records. OHA determined that the NNSA had established reasonable cause to doubt Appellant's intended use of the requested records, but that the NNSA had not met the procedural requirement of seeking additional clarification before categorizing Appellant as a commercial use requester. Therefore, OHA granted Appellant's appeal and remanded the matter to the NNSA for additional processing. OHA Case Nos. FIA-19-0020, FIA-19-0021, FIA-19-0022, FIA-19-0023.