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Court Bars Air Force From Releasing Contract Info

WASHINGTON (CN) - The D.C. Circuit granted a "reverse" Freedom of Information Act request brought by contractors seeking to keep the Air Force from releasing line-item pricing information in a contractfor turbojet engine repairs.

In 2002 Canadian Commercial Corp. and the Air Force signed a three-year contract for CCC to "repair, overhaul and modify J85 turbojet engines." An unsuccessful bidder filed a FOIA request in 2003 for a copy of the contract. CCC objected, claiming the line-item prices and hourly labor rates in the contract constituted trade secrets. It filed a suit seeking to enjoin disclosure of the information.

The district court prevented the Air Force from disclosing the line-item prices, but not the hourly labor rates. The Air Force appealed.

The circuit said the Air Force's explanation "for why disclosure of the information at issue would not cause substantial competitive harm to CCC lacks empirical support and is unconvincing." See ruling.

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