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: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

In 2010 POGO took the time to investigate and write about a situation in which an SEC Enforcement Attorney publicly revealed my status as a whistleblower.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/28/long-island-congressional-candidate-cited-for-giving-up-jpmorgan/

The article helped me to articulate what had happened and was used as an exhibit when I discussed my situation with the public, reporters, politicians and regulators. The article was well researched, completely factual and had the credibility of coming from a non-partisan point of view.

POGO is a fantastic organization and one I am grateful for the work they do.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I told POGO my horror story with the VA and they got back to me soon, the care at VA is completely horrible. I've lost 13 teeth since 2004 and still need about 5 fixed or ill lose them. The VA needs civilian oversight. They are non-friendly and plain rude not to mention the notorious wait times. Organizations like POGO are definitely a step in bringing government oversight back in. The government has gotten so far reaching major steps need to be taken to reign them in. I feel I've lost all my privacy and even like a guinea pig from all the experimental drugs the VA tried me on which hurts me in custody court because I was given drugs for conditions I never had or had symptoms of. My ex-wife is using my service connected disabilities against me with her shark lawyer to take my kids from me and so they can move away. My kids are terrified of being taken away to where they can't see me. My ex already broke the visitation 4 times a month for over a year. Judge will not listen without my retaining a lawyer but due to the low compensation rate and daily expenses and child support makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to retain a lawyer who would actually stand up for my kids and not cave to her lawyers. Mind you, I have over 3000 texts from her admitting to a range of felonies and parental alienation, interference with custody and various others. She was even arrested for biting a chunk out of my arm in front of the kids and tried to say I attacked her but I didn't and had witnesses. She had no marks on her and even tried to beat up my 110 pound mother. My kids found a bag with my daughter's (age 10) name written on it full of marijuana and pills. My son (age 8) saw them packaging the big bag into small ones and my son knows the prices and names of dealers and the store they own and the name of the store they own they are laundering the money from. I am in a dilemma whether to turn them in. I am absolutely sure she would turn me in if I was that stupid but I'm not like they are. I'm extremely bothered by all this. There is also allegations from kids about getting slapped in face repeatedly, being sent away without supper, being sent outside so she can spend time with friends instead of kids and not letting them communicate with me. Her grandmother even get to see them more than I do. Of course she denies but the kids are they key to unlocking it all. My 10 year old daughter is gifted and is very articulate. If someone can help or give me ideas to help us would be greatly appreciated. I would pay even 500 a month for life if I could retain a lawyer that would accept payment plan. I receive ssdi and 70% SC from the VA so I will get those payments for the rest of my life so I could write a contract with someone who can produce results and get my kids out of such a bad situation if that person is willing. I also have recordings the kids made talking about all this and never wanting to see her again and alleging abuse and her threats of possibly moving away further, I feel bad though because even though she does such mean things to hurt us I still defend her when the kids complain about whatever happened since I saw them last. I'm trying to be a role model but she is using it against me taking kindness for weakness and now I'm torn as to what to do next. Can anyone give me any advise?

Ryan G 3186138195

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

Add a civil section to advise vets on civil matters that stem from service connection problems. For example, divorce, custody, child support, domestic violence against men and an agreement that domestic violence works both ways. Also advocate reversal of gender bias in family court,

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Okay

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Filed complaint with Secy of Veterans Affairs, VA Inspector General Office, VA Bay Pines, members of Congress regarding mistreatment/abusive behavior by VA Sarasota personnel with no response other than VA IG informing me my complaint did not warrant investigation, and Senator Burr informing me I was not a constituent, therefore would not investigate.

The staff at POGO reviewed my complaint and felt it serious enough to forward to Iraq Afghanistan Veterans Organization for possible inclusion to compilation of complaints about VA treatment.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

In early 2007 POGO came to my defense and their wonderful staff have never left my side since. They were the first to get me in front of the right Congressional folks to speed the equipping of Marines in combat. They were also the first to take up my cause as a whistleblower. Together with GAP they have enabled me to remain employed throughout this - now going on eight-year - saga. Without POGO I would have been dismissed in early 2007, and much important life-saving work would not have been accomplished. POGO is awesome! Decision makers listen to POGO!

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

Nothing. POGO leadership is superb. Its mission is well defined, and POGO's actions get things done. This is because POGO has earned respect throughout government and the public. Don't change a thing!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

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Rating: 5 stars  

POGO has proven to be a very good resource for information on issues related to U.S. government and transparency. They seem to be experienced with and understanding of the skills necessary to perform the task at hand.
The function they serve is imperative in these times when accountability has not been what it should be within the government itself for some time now. POGO is very much appreciated for efforts and the result it produces.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Concerned, active and informed citizens are the cornerstone of our democracy. Without the efforts of POGO, we could not achieve reforms such as recent legislation to protect whistleblowers and our work to keep taxpayers from bearing the brunt of excessive contractor salaries and benefits.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a former federal agent and national security whistleblower, I have worked closely with POGO for over 14 years in the national security whistleblower community. This organization is exceptionally organized and well-managed. Further, POGO has demonstrated a strong and credible voice with regard to all of the key issues that it has brought to the forefront with Congressional and Senate leaders as well as the public. The organization does outstanding work and I have been most impressed with its level of consistency in shining a light on issues. They get a top-notch rating from me.

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

tell them to keep up the great work!!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a researcher, I have POGO on my top 10 list of resource for people who truly want to understand issues affecting ordinary Americans today. It is invaluable for its deep, fearless, timely and bias-free coverage of important topics. POGO deserves continual support for its efforts at bringing light and transparency to an increasingly opaque world.

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Tim Strinden and I’m a huge fan of POGO, my favorite nonprofit. When you give to POGO, you get more bang for your buck than with almost any other public interest group in the country. POGO is a lean, mean, exposing machine, respected by democrats and republicans alike for its objectivity and effectiveness. In addition to exposing problems, they develop solutions and follow up to try to correct the problems. I've been a devoted follower since 1998 and am constantly amazed at the quantity and quality of the work they produce with a small staff and budget. They have exposed serious industry and regulatory waste and mismanagement in countless areas; including defense and wartime contracting, banking and finance, nuclear plants, inspector general functioning, and government resource management.

POGO has been a strong advocate for whistleblower protections and has helped many whistleblowers, including myself, to develop strategies for dealing with abuses at their workplaces. I have always found them to be gracious and generous with their limited time and resources, to help those who need it. I especially appreciate the time spent by Danielle Brian and Scott Amey on my issues, considering their many other important projects and responsibilities. I don't know how they do it all, but they do it extremely well.

A donation to POGO is one of the best ways to ensure that industry abuses and regulatory failures are exposed and corrected, which benefits all of us. We’re all fortunate that POGO exists, and is working hard for us every day. It’s too bad that more people don’t know about POGO and its accomplishments.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Tim Strinden and I’m a huge fan of POGO, my favorite nonprofit. When you give to POGO, you get more bang for your buck than with almost any other public interest group in the country. POGO is a lean, mean, exposing machine, respected by democrats and republicans alike for its objectivity and effectiveness. In addition to exposing problems, they develop solutions and follow up to try to correct the problems. I've been a devoted follower since 1998 and am constantly amazed at the quantity and quality of the work they produce with a small staff and budget. They have exposed serious industry and regulatory waste and mismanagement in countless areas; including defense and wartime contracting, banking and finance, nuclear plants, inspector general functioning, and government resource management.

POGO has been a strong advocate for whistleblower protections and has helped many whistleblowers, including myself, to develop strategies for dealing with abuses at their workplaces. I have always found them to be gracious and generous with their limited time and resources, to help those who need it. I especially appreciate the time spent by Danielle Brian and Scott Amey on my issues, considering their many other important projects and responsibilities. I don't know how they do it all, but they do it extremely well.

A donation to POGO is one of the best ways to ensure that industry abuses and regulatory failures are exposed and corrected, which benefits all of us. We’re all fortunate that POGO exists, and is working hard for us every day. It’s too bad that more people don’t know about POGO and its accomplishments.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?