If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

US Government LED Prize:
Certain test reports not released...

As seen from the recent series of posts here about the new Philips LED bulb that won the American Government, L Prize (more), a particular source of interest was lighting engineer Philip Premysler's observations.

Following discrepancies he discovered in how the prize was awarded,
including deficiencies in the bulb itself, his further request for information has met with some resistance, as he allows me to make public... (his capitals, my added bold style highlights)

"The telltale sign of the Dept of Energy (DoE) having RIGGED the L-Prize contest is the DoE's refusal to release certain test reports on the L-Prize entry.
Several of test reports that are listed in the "Independent Data" column of the L Prize summary document were requested under the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA].

Based on the summary document we know these document would show failures of the L-Prize “winner” to meet the contest requirements.
The decision by the DoE to refuse to release the documents was appealed to the DoE’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) and the DoE was ordered to make a legal determination based on specific legal criteria as to whether the documents could be released
(see http://www.oha.doe.gov/cases/foia/FIA-11-0012.pdf)."

The mentioned test review summary document and appeal documents,
the test review report was as said previously discussed here.

"So far, the DoE has refused to carry out the OHA order. (Likely they see no way to avoid releasing the documents if they apply the OHA’s criteria)

Their tactic for stonewalling is absurd.
The DoE states that they expected the OHA to order a new search for documents and even though this did not happen and was not likely to happen they commenced a new search anyway, found some additional documents other than those requested and incurred some expenses. Then they took the position that unless payment for the new search was made by me, they would refuse to process the request. Thus far they have not responded to the OHA remand.
I should emphasize that there was no reason for the DoE to assume that the OHA would order a new search because the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request and appeal concerned specific documents that were identified by file name. In order for the DoE to make its initial negative response to the FOIA request they would have had to have already located the documents in question."


"Regarding the FOIA appeal, as may expected the DoE is stonewalling. They have yet to abide by the remand from the Office of Hearings and Appeals. I may appeal but I don't know how long that would take. Hopefully congress takes up an investigation and obtains all the relevant documents. In the meantime there is the published test report from Philips own website and there is the test report from the SCE, which you did a nice job on reviewing an selecting quotes.

The way in which the DoE is stonewalling is somewhat "creative". They claim they incorrectly assumed the OHA would order an expanded document search and therefore went ahead and conducted a document search and incurred some expense which they want me to pay. Apparently it is their position that they will disregard the remand order from the OHA until I pay for the expanded search which nobody requested (not me or the OHA)."


The Paris Apartment said...

Thank God someone is paying attention!

Lighthouse said...

;-) agreed - and admirable effort too to get documents publicised, by someone I understand not gaining in any way from it...

Legal Guy said...

It is hardly surprising they charge exorbitantly for FOIA: That is a standard delay/avoid tactic including stringing out the process by irrelevant document release and further paid for release since the FOIA customer does naturally does not know which document is relevant (Catch 22)

DOE release obligation is acknowledged: Note it says in that appeal document,
"The DOE’s FOIA regulations provide that when a
contract with DOE provides that any records acquired or generated by the contractor in its
performance of the contract shall be the property of the Government, DOE will make available to the public such records"