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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Project on Government Oversight, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, 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

110 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have relied on POGO for years for careful reports on the many ways in which folks try to milk the government, both from inside and outside. The organization is an essential, vigorous, non-partisan watchdog that keeps government honest (or at least tries to do so).

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

POGO is my go-to source for information regarding the diversion of federal funds into private pockets.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In a nation with little or no oversight over the actions and spending of our government, with no reliable news media and no investigative journalism to speak of, we desperately need organizations like POGO. The Federal Government has devolved to the point that they blatantly ignore the People of the United States in favor of the extremely wealthy, multinational corporations, and neoliberal policies, but POGO at least provides those of us marginalized and abandoned by our government reliable information on what is happening so that we can make judgments based on reality.

5 Penny32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a third-time Auckland Mayoral candidate, campaigning against over 30 years of Neo-liberal 'Rogernomic$' - based upon the unsubstantiated myth and mantra 'public is bad - private is good'.

The reality, of course, is that as soon as you get into the contracting-out (privatisation) of public services - you get into 'contract management'.

Central and local government staff are regarded as being 'too dumb' to know how to do that - so they hire private sector consultants to 'project manage' the private sector works contractors, who, in so many cases then sub-contract.

So - by the time you get to down and dirty to the 'boots and overalls' who actually do something productive - you may go through up to four layers of 'pin-stripe suits' all clipping the ticket.

How on earth can that be more 'cost-effective' spending of public tax and rates monies compared with running public services by directly-employed staff under the 'not-for-profit' public service model?

Your WONDERFUL POGO research from September 2011 proving contracting out is 'bad business' and twice as expensive as in- house service provision, is the only research that I found, that makes this case.

Thank you POGO - SO much for all your hard work on this HUGE issue.

I have used your research whenever and wherever I can.

Locally, nationally and internationally, it's time for the worldwide 99% to realise that globally, collectively, we have been 'sold a pup' and it is time to ROLL BACK 'ROGERNOMIC$'!

Keep up the GREAT work!

Kind regards

Penny Bright

2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

'Her Warship' ;)

3 Johnnie C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

pogo does things and asks the questions noone else will

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I fully endorse what the project on government oversight is doing 110%

1 Orgdevpro

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO provides in depth reporting of government expenditures especially wasteful like Wisconsin Senator Proxmire used to do publicly via mass media.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

POGO gets to the heart of issues so taxpayers can count that there money is used properly and wisely

1 Lee_53

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is vital that government is held accountable and remains transparent in its dealings with the public. That is why I support POGO in supporting whistle blowers on government fraud, corruption and just plain incompetence.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In a world where Industry, mega corporations and governments routinely lie to protect their own interests at the expense of the public, it is vitally important that organizations exist to speak Truth to Power. As someone who is active regarding the mistreatment of animals, the environment and transparency in our government, I applaud POGO for its stand and efforts to make our government more transparent accountable for its actions.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you want to know what is really going on, this is the place to find out!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Project on Government Oversight works tirelessly to uncover and expose the Never Ending Wasteful Spending that our Government is involved in Every Day. If all of the Hard Working American People knew the extent of America's Black Budget, they would Join Together and Vote All of the Congress Members that participate in these Actions Out of Office!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

This group does an excellent job of exposing and explaining in layman terms the multi layered problems of waste and over spending that our Tax Payer Dollars are spent on. They often go againest the Public Information stories provided by our Government, and are not afraid to tell the truth on many subjects taht concern our Health and Safety. I rely on them to get the real story on all of todays hot issues.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

POGO, is a devoted source for exposing the Good as well as the Bad issues of spending our Taxpayer Dollars.
Gerard F. Gaudin

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

POGO has been keeping our not for profit biz informed for years on environmental issues and business issues that effect our daily lives, and they keep us on top of information that we share with clients on a daily basis

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love reading about the hard work and dedication of this NFP group. They are diligent, fair and have terrific outcomes that ultimately will shape our future government and leadership.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Without the great work and straightforward investigative reporting P.O.G.O. undertakes, we as a nation are left with watered down news bites from within the national political media. A reporter's true worth is measured not by how many friends they have made, but by the power of their enemies. The Project On Government Oversight keeps well hated. I thank them for that.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Project On Government Oversight supported me for ten years while I took my aviation security whistleblower case to the U.S. Supreme Court and won.

http://www.maclean-scotus.info

Sara129

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I write letters to editors, am heading a petition drive in my small town for a 28th amendment saying that corporations are not people and money is not speech, am an active member of Move to Amend. I never want to say something that isn't true and truth is hard to find. When in doubt I turn to POGO.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel helpless in making governmental changes in which I believe. POGO has offered the ideal way I can join others, and make a difference. Letters written usually bring a unsatisfactory reply. I am a retired senior citizen, living on less than $1,200 a month. I want Congress to have the same options I have. Thank you for this opportunity to express my belief in POGO.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I LIKE WHAT I SAW ON C-SPAN.NO HOLDS BARED, ENGAGE HEAD ON. AN A+ IN MY BOOK.REASEARCH WAS DONE THE WAY I WOULD DO IT BEFORE QUESTIONS WERE ASKED. THAT WAY MOST OF THE TIME THE ANSWER IS KNOWN BEFORE THE QUESTION IS ASKED TO GAUGE INTEGRITY. OF WHICH, SOME WILL LOOK YOU IN THE FACE CLAIMING TO LIGITIMIZE THE PATH TAKEN TO A DESTINATION THAT ENDED UP IN THE WRONG PLACE. THESE TYPE OF THINGS HURT EFFORTS INSTEAD OF PRODUCE CARE FOR VETERANS. WE MUST CONTINUE TO HAVE INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. AIRBORNE

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I appreciate always the comments and news from POGO
Julio Garulo
Spain

Volunteer

Rating: 5

POGO is a name i can trust,believe in,and share. the things i have learned and read from POGO have enlightend an entire generation of infomed activists. i anticapate the next issue of POGO to ponder and fume.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I like being kept up to date on who's screwing up the country.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Its efforts target the interests of all, not just a few. Its task, overseeing the shenanigans of the government (an endless challenge) serves as would "checks and balances" that are, unfortunately, no longer implicit in governance.