The Project on Government Oversight, Inc.

Rating: 4.78 stars   316 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights

Location: 1100 G Street NW Suite 500 Washington DC 20005 USA

Mission: The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflict of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open and ethical federal government.
Results: Some recent examples of our work are: A) Partnered with IAVA to help Veterans. As concerns of mismanagement and deception within the Department of Veterans Affairs mount, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) entered into a partnership to protect VA staff who come forward with information about agency wrongdoing. As part of the effort, the organizations have launched a secure website, www.VAOversight.org, where VA employees can get in touch with POGO and IAVA. The effort combines IAVA’s deep knowledge of the VA system with POGO’s experience working with whistleblowers to expose federal wrongdoing. In an effort to stem the tide of negative publicity, the Inspector General of the VA has subpoenaed POGO in an attempt to find out who the whistleblowers are. POGO has refused to allow the government to learn the identity of the brave people who have come forth to alert the public of its misdoings. B) Received Journalism Awards. POGO won in June 2014 the Dateline Award for investigative reporting from its local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for its project on lax security at U.S. embassies overseas. It also won a business journalism award for its reporting on efforts by former employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission to influence regulations. C) Increased transparency around drone program. After POGO signed onto an amicus curiae brief in 2013 authored by EPIC in NY Times v. DOJ supporting release of the classified legal analysis justifying the controversial “targeted killing” drone program, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of increased transparency. The Court found that after “senior Government officials have assured the public” that the program is “lawful and that . . . advice establishes the legal boundaries,” it can no longer claim that the document is exempt from FOIA. D) Elected Chair of the Civil Society Sector of the USEITI. POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian was elected the chair of the Civil Society sector of the US EITI), a Federal Advisory Board composed of civil society, industry, and government members. In that role, POGO has helped organize outreach efforts to provide residents of communities directly impacted by extractive industries to have a voice in the crafting of transparency commitments that have been presented to the international EITI board by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The outreach is being conducting across the country from Alaska to New Orleans, involving impoverished communities including Native American tribes, Appalachia, the Gulf region, as well as Pennsylvania lands where hydraulic fracturing is being conducted. E) Closed Revolving Door Loophole at the SEC. Thanks to efforts by POGO, the SEC decided to close a loophole in the ethics rules that allowed some “senior” SEC personnel to lobby the agency immediately after leaving instead of staying on the sidelines for a year or more, as employees at other federal agencies must do. The change in the rules—revoking a longstanding exemption for some SEC officials—is a rare stand against the revolving door at an agency that has long blurred the lines between the regulators and the regulated. F) Removed Officer Unfit to Oversee Whistleblowers. A November 2013 POGO letter to Secretary Hagel asked for the removal of Major General Patton from his post as head of sexual assault prevention due to an investigation that found him guilty of violating the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. The letter resulted in news coverage of the issue and over 2,500 letters to the DoD from POGO supporters. A mere four weeks after POGO’s letter, the Pentagon announced Major General Patton’s plan to retire. A congressional staffer close to the issue told POGO that the impetus for Patton’s retirement was the unwelcome attention from POGO. G) POGO Recommendations on Contracting Reform featured in New York Times Editorial. In a very harsh critique of federal contracting rules, the New York Times editorial board cited POGO’s recommendations as a solution to the current practice of contracting out vast swaths of government work indefinitely — with little or no attempt to develop the needed technical and managerial expertise within the government or to enforce labor standards — which has created a bloated federal-contractor sector in which the public good is often subservient to profit. H) Strengthened Protections for Military Whistleblowers Signed into Law. Thanks to efforts by POGO, Congress has passed protections for military whistleblowers and victims of sexual assault against unfair retaliation which were signed into law by the President. This new law will help protect service members who make the difficult and brave decision to come forward and report sexual assault or other misconduct. POGO fought hard for passage of these reforms to upgrade the disgracefully broken whistleblower protections for our troops. I) Enforced Defense Contractor Rules Regarding Purchase of US-Made Products. POGO helped to expose that the Defense Department hasn’t been following the mandates for purchasing US-made products and instead was illegally supplying our troops with boots manufactured in China. POGO urged Congress to call for a DoD Inspector General (IG) audit into the DoD’s compliance with existing domestic preference laws, including the Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment. As a result, in August 2013, the DoD IG announced a preemptive audit, stating that it anticipated that legislation was forthcoming.
Geographic areas served: The United States
Programs: A. Open Government Investigations-Strengthening Government Oversight Functions B. National Security Investigations-Challenging Wasteful Defense Spending C. Wall Street Investigations-Strengthening Financial Oversight D. Contractor Accountability Investigations-Proposing Solutions E. Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative-Paying Their Fair Share F. Public Health Investigations- Improving Transparency of Programs
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

I am the publisher of Attrorney at Law Magazine - Boston. Does POGO wish to submit a feature or advertise therein?

Go to www.attorneyatlawmagazine.com to see our thirty-two page editions over the last five years from more than twenty cities.

David B. Nolan, J.D.
571-277-3265

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Recruit leading Board members.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 4 stars  

POGO has demonstrated over many years that it has the staying power to ferret out the problems of government. They are relentlessly fact-based and non-partisan. When POGO speaks, I listen.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish they had the resources to better cover state and local government.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Take a look at what these folks do, and how they use the money they raise. POGO is one of the best 'bang for the buck' NGOs out there. My only regret is that I don't have more money I can give them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

See to it that they have much more funding to work with.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I get so much "behind the scenes" insight and information regarding everything that goes on behind the government and that is not usually covered in the news media that POGO disseminates. This information I pass on to others to make them more socially conscious and politically aware. They have (by far) the most accurate and detailed information regarding government oversight off all the nonprofit organizations.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A...They do a remarkable job. Leave all as is..

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Over the years since its inception, we've all become pretty dependent on POGO. POGO does a lot of good with a small staff, not-large budget, and a very clear focus -- that makes the news, and changes public policy.

In the absence of the news sources and advocate public that our founding fathers were counting on, groups like POGO are a necessity.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have local groups, state by state

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

POGO makes exhaustive efforts to research and monitor government programs, disseminate their findings to the public in responsible ways, and serve the public as advocates, giving testimony at times in Congress, and serving well,efficiently, and articulately to demonstrate when federal governmental organizations are indeed not meeting their charters.

POGO, in a time when journalism, our much-reduced, much-needed fourth estate has been so badly diminished to such horrible effect, serves us in inestimable ways.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

POGO has a unique perspective and takes on a unique responsibility with the highest level of commitment. Now more than ever, there is a 24/7 media. Unfortunately, the quantity doesn't translate into any greater quality or objectivity. The truth is that the level of thoroughness, fact-finding, reach, and what had traditionally been journalism has been cast aside for fast sound bites and sensational stories that require little education or time. POGO goes beyond the shallow trend to seek out the issues that are most relevant and demand attention and addresses them, presenting them in concise terms to create awareness and to inform and lead to policy implementation and change.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 4 stars  

POGO enables we average citizens to keep an eye on the endless skullduggery emanating from DC.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...use more of POGOs' budget on net/tv/radio PSAs.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 4 stars  

POGO has provided assistance to several Vermont groups fighting to bring fairness to the decision making process and mitigation efforts (incuding not bedding them down here at the Burlington International Airport) of F-35 fighter/bomber jets. This assistance has come without charge - important for volunteer efforts by members of this community.

Testimony from POGO principals has strengthened our position and hopefully our impact.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have known POGO director, Danielle Brian (and her family) since the time that she attended the high school where I taught. Danielle was a national high school extemporaneous-speech champion. It was always clear to all who knew her that her passion and humanity came from a place in the heart, influenced by trying world events that her parent lived through.
She and her staff possess a remarkable blend of idealism and toughness that cuts to the chase as they pull aside assorted layers of mistreatment, inefficiencies, and malfeasance.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand its scope beyond its main mission of uncovering Pentagon waste. This runs the risk of diluting its strength and I hope it might create a separate banner if it ever goes that route.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

POGO gives important stories about government that other media overlook and give the important details that other media leave out.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the coverage and make it daily.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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