FIA-20-0018 - In the Matter of Ron Walli

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On January 28, 2020, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) granted in part a FOIA appeal filed by Ron Walli from a final determination issued by the DOE's Oak Ridge Office (ORO). Appellant's FOIA request sought records from the DOE and/or UT-Battelle, the managing and operating contractor of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, concerning UT-Battelle's potential violation of the DOE's Fairness of Opportunity requirement. In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of ORO's search for responsive documents. OHA contacted ORO who provided information concerning the search that UT-Battelle conducted.  After review, OHA determined that the search conducted by the Director of Technology Transfer at UT-Battelle was reasonably calculated to uncover responsive documents.   However, ORO could not confirm what type of search the UT-Battelle's Office of General Counsel (OGC) conducted.  Therefore, OHA granted the Appeal in part. OHA Case No. FIA-20-0018.