Sunshine in Gov’t Initiative Reacts to Miriam Nisbet Appointment

June 10, 2009

Rick Blum
SGI Coordinator
rblum (at)
703-807-2100 or 202-309-2654 (cell)

The new director of a new office to mediate disputes under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is experienced in FOIA and has been a longtime advocate for openness.

The National Archives announced today that Miriam Nisbet has been appointed as the first director of the new Office of Government Information Services, which Congress created in 2007 to mediate FOIA disputes and recommend improvements to FOIA operations.

“While the federal FOIA mediator’s office is still a long way from mediating its first FOIA dispute, it took a strong step forward today with the naming of its new director, Miriam Nisbet,” said Rick Blum, coordinator of the Sunshine in Government Initiative. “She’s a long-time advocate for open government, and this is a promising start for those who want the FOIA to work better.”

The Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI) is a coalition of nine media groups promoting openness and accountability in government. Members of the SGI coalition include: American Society of News Editors, Associated Press, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, National Association of Broadcasters, National Newspaper Association, Newspaper Association of America, Radio-Television News Directors Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Society of Professional Journalists.

The SGI coalition has strongly supported the creation of the Office of Government Information Services, which will provide independent leadership and an alternative to costly and prohibitive litigation to resolve FOIA disputes.

About the Sunshine in Government Initiative
The Sunshine in Government Initiative is a coalition of media groups committed to promoting policies that ensure the government is accessible, accountable and open. Public oversight is the ultimate safeguard of democracy. It is the inalienable right of citizens to examine and judge their government; and that right is served when news media act on behalf of the public to gain access to information. More information is online at