FIA-20-0037 - In the Matter of Julie Reddick

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On July 10, 2020, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeal filed by Ms. Julie Reddick (Appellant) concerning the response of the Office of Public Information (OPI) to her FOIA request for a document that DOE stated would be sent to Congress. OPI, having referred the request to the relevant office for a search, sent the Appellant a link to a publicly available document and informed her that this was the only responsive document found. On appeal, Appellant asserted that the document linked in the letter was unresponsive because it was for the wrong year and was not the specific document requested. The OHA consulted with the office that had conducted the search and discovered that the requested document would only be created upon specific request from Congress and that such request was never received. The OHA further learned that, despite knowledge that the specific document requested did not exist, the searching office still attempted to find other documents that might also be responsive. With this information, the OHA determined that, though OPI's determination letter did not convey the full context of the situation, an adequate search had been conducted. Accordingly, OHA denied Appellant's appeal. OHA Case No. FIA-20-0037