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  

2 people found this review helpful

As a government whistleblower whose scientific career was nearly destroyed when I disclosed incompetence and fraud at the National Institutes of health, I know the important protections POGO provides to whistleblowers like me.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

There is a reason why whistleblowers and news reporters flock to POGO. It is because of its long track record of uncovering fraud and abuse throughout the U.S. government (including abroad). Although physically located inside the beltway, POGO has never come down (and never will) with the beltway disease of compromising in order to get coveted access to the higher levels of government. POGO keeps its integrity. Perhaps my greatest compliment is to observe that I have seen with my own eyes how government officials and contractors fear POGO.

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

hope it had greater financial support

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

POGO is an exemplary public-service group that speaks truth to power -- then holds it accountable through practical revelations about the inner workings of government. When analyzing energy and science issues at GAO, I found myself many times crossing POGO's path, as both organizations are dedicated to exposing waste, fraud, and the abuse of power. POGO's methods are more direct that GAOs, and in many ways more effective for their timely revelations.

As a journalist covering the federal government, and as a Senior Analyst at GAO, I have spent decades investigating and exposing foolish and wasteful government programs. POGO is unique in its ability to be an independent and rigorous watchdog for the public interest.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

POGO watchdogs our government effectively. We need more of this! Citizens can participate in government more successfully with information from POGO,

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

seems to work well as it is

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

POGO has been an essential partner in building stronger capacity in US civil society to grapple with our unique problems of transparency. They are highly effective & good listeners.

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

get it more resources.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

In an era where transparency in governmental affairs creates confidence for citizens and all vested interests, POGO is a sine qua non for insuring integrity and enlightening the public when governments fall short of public expectation. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance and POGO is one important organization in insuring the capacity for independent oversight, thus insuring a solid political and intact economic infrastructure for our nation, past, present and future.

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

Increase it's capacity to oversee all federal departments and suggest important changes in policy. POGO will need more funding in order to attain these goals. Such oversight creates a panopticon on all government offices and procedures.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I strongly support the excellent work that POGO does in keeping the public informed about the abuses of various government agencies and their contractor collaborators. Since starting to receive the POGO newsletter, I have become aware of many situations of financial and authority abuse by our Government and especially on the effects of this abuse on the lives of the regular, tax-paying citizen. If it weren't for POGO, I would not be aware and certainly not as angered by the level of abuse that occurs on a daily basis.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I came across this government accountability group called POGO a couple of years ago. It was a godsend in so many ways. I worked for a defense contractor and witnessed and experienced many personal and life changing events. My eyes were opened to the abuses being committed against the taxpayers. I've always been an activist for consumers and animals but now I've added to that government accountability. I've learned so much from this outstanding group of reporters and investigators. I've learned the truth! There are other groups out there but I can honestly say that POGO and its staff are exceptional in so many ways. They are highly qualified, skilled and respected in their work; plus you couldn't ask for a nicer group of people who go out of their way everyday to help others. If you are someone who believes that things in this country must change, then by all means you need to follow this group. Your eyes will be opened for the better. You won't feel like you're alone in your efforts to make this world a better place. I am so proud to call POGO a group of very dear friends. There are still good people in this world and there is no better example than this wonderful group called POGO. Please follow at POGO.org; you will be happy that you did.

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

Do nothing. No one reports the truth like POGO does.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  



The Project on Government Oversight is one of the most effective nonprofits in Washington, D.C. Over the years, its efforts have produced incalculable benefits for whistleblowers and the general public. Its staff is energetic, idealistic and creative. Its leader, Danielle Brian, is a visionary and a very honorable human being, a combination you often don't find in D.C.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 4 stars  

I watch for my e-mails from POGO. One day I know Americans like I will join POGO and then indeed this democracy will work. There are those in Congress, those running for the US Senate who do not believe that government should "regulate", nor should government be in the business of "charity" and I do not share those "political beliefs". I believe our democracy is enhanced, set on a path sure by our government regulating our water supply, our natural resources, and ensuring the good health of all Americans. This is why I am a member of POGO despite being unable to financially support the effort to be part of those Americans who are the people "watching the watchers".

That we are Americans who will not tolerate the Office of Inspector General "looking the other way" as veterans suffer in long lines for nothing. I am a part of POGO.

I may not be Republican, nor am I living in an area of this Nation where one can step up to the "Mayor" and plead for clean air and water. POGO I know you must not support the "oversight" here in Arizona State where "Old Time Christian values" have replaced law and order and as we face drought we face it's disaster, and we know those values applied to Arizona State deny us the pursuit of our happiness.

I am a Democrat knowing the Inspector General was not stood to serve and protect the morning that the US Senate failed to censure the Social Security Administration for stepping outside the law, for violating the precepts of the Social Security Trust Agreements. I know this must be a job POGO must see as problem. For when the Social Security Administration, from top to bottom, believed itself beyond the law, and the Inspector General believed those Americans disabled and handicapped not eligible under law of equal treatment. Then death resulted, lives, parents, loved ones were lost. It is time for the American people to turn-in and watch the dereliction at the Office of Inspector General. for our tax dollars paid as Medicare and as SSDI are not safe.

It is great to know Veterans Administration employees blew a whistle. It is great that Veterans will not forsake their demands that they as Veterans receive in benefit allotment the highest stand of ethic in delivery. So would, so must those disabled when being shuffled to the end of the "seven year line" by government employees thinking themselves beyond the law at the Social Security Administration. It is time to believe we as American's can not only enrich our own lives but those of others. We can demand honesty and that is why I joined POGO!

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

I would make noise, I would like to see POGO angry that the "First Reponders" in New York City when making Claim for their SSDI Benefits were put at the end of the "seven year line" because why. Because the Inspector Generals Office did not serve and protect, not even their own. I would like the members of POGO o share my grief at the lives lost way to soon, the suffering that was so unnecessary POGO take a moment, to reflect,. "No more orphans and widows must be made."

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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