FIA-20-0017 - In the Matter of Synaptix Technology

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On January 28, 2020, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by Synaptix (Appellant) from a final determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). On Appeal, the Appellant asserted that NNSA had improperly withheld responsive records pursuant to Exemption 6, arguing that NNSA applied the exemption too broadly. After review, OHA determined that NNSA properly used a " mosaic theory" to determine that release of the information would allow the public to determine the performance ratings of NNSA employees, which would be properly withheld under Exemption 6. OHA further determined that NNSA had properly segregated non-exempt information by releasing those records which could not be used to determine performance ratings. Accordingly, the appeal was denied. OHA Case No. FIA-20-0017.