RFR-20-0001 - In the Matter of Cause of Action Institute

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On November 26, 2019, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) granted an application for modification or rescission (Application) filed by Cause of Action Institute (Applicant) under OHA's procedural regulations, codified at Part 1003 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, concerning OHA's decision and order in OHA case number FIA-20-0001 (the Decision). In the Decision, OHA denied Applicant's appeal concerning the adequacy of the Office of Public Information's (OPI) search for records reflecting the electronic messaging systems installed on DOE devices. The Application asserted that other federal agencies had produced records in response to similar requests, and that the wording of the Decision suggested that OPI had searched for a list of DOE-supported applications rather than all applications installed on DOE devices. Upon review of the manner in which the search was conducted, OHA concluded that the search was limited to records reflecting DOE-supported messaging applications. Therefore, OHA concluded that OPI had construed the Applicant's FOIA request too narrowly, and had not conducted an adequate search. Accordingly, OHA granted the Application, rescinded the Decision, and remanded the matter to OPI for an additional search. OHA Case No. RFR-20-0001.