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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Project on Government Oversight, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Democracy, Government & Public Administration, Public Finance, Taxation & Monetary Policy

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

Community Stories

599 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Gary K.2

Donor

Rating: 4

Because any form of effective self-regulation is a rarity in government sponsored service, the existence of P.O.G.O. is an existential necessity, without which our society would soon cease to function at all. Their attention to corrupt practices and schemes is a huge assist in the disclosure of said aberrations and the corrective forces that are brought to bear upon them. I appreciate the opportunity they provide me to contribute to this monitoring service.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO seeks the truth about our government. When I first saw this in my email . I wondered who was it sending emails to me. Having so many emails and organizations contact me, i immediately deleted the email. Looking for someone I deleted by mistake, I went rummaging in my spam and trash. Suddenly, the POGO email appeared . This time I looked at this organization more closely and found that I had made a huge mistake. POGO is one of the few organizations that take the time to investigate all crucial matters regarding our government.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've valued POGO reports for several years. The F-35 debacle as reported extensively by POGO was pertinent information for the Sioux Falls City Council several years ago. Sioux Falls Commissioners were excited that the Sioux Falls Air Guard was high on the list for F-16 replacements by F-35s. I reported POGO findings to the City Council and got a number of head nods. Fortunately for Sioux Falls, the F-35s went elsewhere.

Leland W Griffin J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Like so many others I receive many Political Emails everyday, most asking for money so they will do the job they are already paid to do. I don't read most of them but I always read POGO,. You are a shining light into the political waste and corruption that the common citizen must be aware of. Hopefully someday enough people will understand that most members of Congress do not Represent us, they represent Corporations and themselves and then we will remove them.. Their "Smoke and Mirrors", Flea Circus" and continued manufactured crisis to distract us will stop being believed (As a need for more money or even reality). Then maybe "Our" Government will be reclaimed by the American Public. One can only hope.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

Tell your story and help a charity get noticed!
TO POGO.
I DO APPRECIATE MUCH THE POGO TEAM FOR GOOD WORK THEY HAVE BEEN DOING TO THE US EMBASSY NAIROBI, GUARD FORCE. POGO BEING OUR POINT OF CONTACT/WHISTLE BLOWER. POGO IS DETERMINED FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE. KEEP IT.
REGARD.
ABED.
KENYA.

David L.1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is one of the few places to go where you can read investigative reporting. POGO Is helpful for me because i stay on my Representative & Senators, and POGO gives me accurate information. POGO is right up there with Mother Jones for me. POGO is totally deserving of your support.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

POGO is one of my most trusted sources for news. The mass media no longer funds investigative journalism, and POGO fills that vacuum. Critical thinking is fine and good. But it's damn difficult without some facts to base it on. i am most grateful to POGO, and i value this organization immensely.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i always open my emails from pogo because their articles are clearly written so that even I as a layman understand the issue presented, Articles always seem clear and thoroughly researched remarkably free of apparent bias

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My intellectual/ moral world view has been informed for 60 years by parsimony, clarity, uncompromising objectivity and documentation, and I have never been disappointed by a POGO article.

James C.

Donor

Rating: 5

The best in giving you an understanding of the inner workings of the US Government.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm over 60 and have seen a lot over the years, lies, corruption, murder in #'s,cheaters, and stealers. But nothing like whats going on today !!~ Greed and power is the #1 problem now, along with technology enabling us to kill without human interaction as well as all those dirty deeds done dirt cheap aimed at spying on everyone for profit in one way or another. The human race is out of control ! I don't socialize much anymore at least not with humans. I do look forward to seeing all this exposed and my #1 go to for that information and more is POGO . I can always count on accurate information from POGO not hype ! Here's to you POGO and all the people within and the hard work they do to expose and help us see humanity for what it has become.If the world can be saved it starts here !

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have no experience but POGO and others should listen that Trump's wife allegedly said he read Hitler who wanted to have a master race rule the whole world and was partly responsible for 60 million deaths during WWII. I have heard some say these times are similar to those leading up to WWII. No one seems to be able to stop Trump who is not that far from being a Hitler.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There are many independent journalists and news services that serve those interested in an alternative perspective room to be proud. None more so than ny experience with POGO. The journalists are fearless and persistent. They provide in-depth stories and most importantly they get results while gaining respect and attention from members of Congress. POGO is my go-to for accuracy and outcomes. Thanks to all those who work tirelessly for us all!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learn a great deal of very relevant information about the US government from the articles published and sent to me by POGO. They help me understand the issues and enable me to discuss the issues intelligently with others.

NamVet6566

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You folks are an island of hope for me. It is such a comfort to me too know that in the midst of all the partisan baloney you folks tend to the business of telling me when our government sometimes actually functions efficiently and more often when our government is simply wasting its time and the taxpayers dollars.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

So far they have always been accurate in every detail in each of there reports I have desired too read. I think they are one of the most reliable news sources I have available to me.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Project on Government Oversight (POGO) is my go to source for unbiased information on Corruption and/or unethical actions by our government and it's representative's. POGO also exposes wasteful spending by our government and it's entities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Actually lives up to expectations of excellence and impartiality.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's hard to find information sources worth trusting. This is one.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The way POGO tracks the never battleworthy, ever dollar-gobbling F-35 is emblematic of why Cecilia and I will keep POGO on our list of organizations to support. POGO reminds us that there are many people and bureaus in the government who thrive on staying out of the public eye. It's POGO that keeps me aware, for example, that the Pentagon is immune to serious audit. Granted, POGO's updates constitute an unmanageable river of notifications that I cannot do anything about, but without them the country would be for me a different, and much more imaginary, place. POGO gives the lie to politicians who try to degrade all public discourse by painting all responsible news gatherers as "fake." We need POGO as badly as we need any journalistic instrument.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Our politicians and government are out of control now. They have forgotten that they have citizens to whom they must be held accountable. POGO is an essential line of defense against our out-of-control administration. The work they do has provided a necessary line of defense against the greed and power grabbing of people and agencies who are very adept at pulling the wool over they eyes of the public. I depend on POGO to keep me informed and to act to protect me and my fellow citizens.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have found MANY non profits that I donated to are actually biased one way or another. When I saw "government oversight" I was quite leary because most "oversight" . Most are pro government administrations, which is not what the name implies.

Bartley D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One hell of a organization! Thanks to all POGO employees who work so hard to inform the American citizens of the critical issues we need to understand in order to help us be responsible countrymen/women. It is organizations like POGO that truly "MAGA".

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you POGO!!! Keeping us informed is just so critical.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO is one group whose email I read regularly. POGO's overview and detailed reporting is essential for every citizen's understanding of government corruption and over-spending of taxpayer dollars. They are one of the most important groups in America right now. Everyone should be aware of their heroic efforts to keep our government accountable.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a journalist covering waste and fraud in the federal government for many years, I have always relied upon POGO to get facts and credible analyses. POGO's leader, Danielle Brian, and general counsel Scott Amey are among the smartest people I know when it comes to understanding what is happening and why in federal departments and agencies. Their program to train congressional investigators is critically important. I put POGO, Cause of Action and Judicial Watch at the top of the heap among the many non-profits seeking to increase transparency and accountability in Washington.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO does the work no other non-profit does. I get information that is useful, current and of importance in keeping our government accountable to the people.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

POGO is one of my go to organisations for stories on how our government is doing or not doing its job and protecting our tax dollars. I share the stories and articles with friends and others who are interested in how our government is doing.

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Donor

Rating: 5

My small donations to this group date back to the non-partisan Center for Defense Information, before the merger w/POGO.
More than ever, we need intelligent people looking closely at bloated federal & military budgets to assure Americans that our hard-earned & limited tax dollars are being spent wisely.
POGO does just that--in a non-partisan & open manner--where I know my donations are being put to good & practical use.

1 Kelly Waser S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a bleeding-heart liberal who spends a lot of time rubbing elbows with die-hard conservatives. One thing that we have in common is that we abhor dishonesty and waste, and POGO does a phenomenal job of bringing BAD government to light and prompting improvements in a non-partisan manner.

Donor

Rating: 5

POGO is a great organization which keeps an eye on the government.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO is a great institution which provides information on what the government is doing with our money. They conduct very thorough investigations and provide thoughtful analysis of the cases they investigate.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For over a decade, I have utilized the POGO website and newsletter to keep myself informed about threats to transparency and accountability in government, as well as POGO-led initiatives to fight governmental corruption and misconduct. I appreciate POGO’s nonpartisan and evidence-based approach, and the integrity of the POGO staff. Based on POGO’s strong track record, I have great faith in the organization’s ability to foster accountability in government for years to come.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I look forward to my weekly POGO in review. It is very reassuring to know these hard working people are watching out for all of us every day. Where would we be without them?

Donor

Rating: 5

Pogo continues to impress us with their boundless research into government waste and boondoggles. They deserve all the financial help they can get.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a researcher of stories that appear questionable, my life has been turned upside down with the physical, mental and social harassment by unknown individuals who are either working with government agencies or back-channel groups planning to use the citizens of this country to promote their own agendas. If your agency really is able to stop the impending genocide of so many human lives, contact people who still have some ability to contact the outside world and share information. My days on the internet are numbered and I will be unable to stay involved. "StopTheCrime.net" is one of the best resources from which you can obtain the most current "documented" evidence of crimes against humanity and the environment. I would like to show my appreciation for your hard work and dedication to the cause, though, and know that without groups like yours, our lost rights and freedoms would have come much sooner. God bless all of your staff and reporters.

Eli E.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’ve managed not for profits and am impressed with this one. Integrity is the word that comes to mind.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I appreciate always being able to count on POGO's commitment to truthful information and follow-through with full-out integrity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Although I have read other articles by him, the recent expose that David Hilzenrath wrote regarding the Interior Department’s proposed rewriting of the federal drilling safety standards stands out as among his very best. In it he describes the backhanded methods used by the Department to procure the safety standards as written by the American Petroleum Industry such as charging for reading the proposed rule changes that should, but don’t, appear in the Federal Register.

It obviously took an inordinate amount of research for Mr. Hilzenrath to write such an article which I so much appreciated for its thoroughness and ease of reading. He, and POGO, deserve high acclaim for works such as this one to be produced

Sincerely,

Louis Mark, M.D.
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As I have watched, agape, the rising fortunes of the Pentagon and the private businesses that contract with it, I am endlessly grateful that The Project on Government Oversight exists.
After a week of learning about one or another egregious acts of chicanery by this unholy alliance, reading POGO's weekly report on Saturday always puts my mind to rest; I hope people of this country know what a valuable watchdog we have working on our behalf!
The talent that has amassed under POGO's banner is topnotch and incredibly even-handed, and we in this country can all sleep more soundly knowing that POGO is on the job.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a retired military veteran and have seen waste in the Department of Defense increase from misuse by active duty personnel to what it is today an institution that provides unearned income to DOD contractors supplying sub-quality products. I donate to POGO because they expose the corruption and provide valid information which I site when asking my Congressional members to review the waste and take steps which truly represent constituents desires. Of late their responses have been slow or none. The other use I put POGO reports is to determine my voting choices toward ending the abuse of our Constitution and restoration of citizens rights.