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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

262 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO does an amazing job of tracking management, contracting and procurement issues in the federal government. No one else tracks these issues so closely and thoroughly. I rely on the Project on Government Oversight to provide the necessary information for me to function as an informed and involved citizen. I have contacted my Congressmen and Senators, as well as the President and various departments, boards and commissions based on information I have read in POGO's reports. No other organization does this in such a comprehensive way.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is unmatched in their detailed investigations of U.S. government functioning. They give unbiased, accurate and detailed information about every department and agency, especially defense, veterans and human services. They are irreplaceable!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I want to find out the truth about what the government is doing, or not doing as the case may be, I always turn to POGO. They offer hard hitting truths about the government. They show where the weaknesses are, where the lack of transparency is and who is not doing their job. I liken POGO to the canary in the mine; without them and their non-partisan oversight of our government, things could really blow up.

1

General Member of the Public

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.
In this day of corporations being able to sue governments for loss of profits, we definitely need organizations like the Project on Government Oversight. To the extent that corporations own most Congress people, we need POGO to track what those Congress people are doing to our democracy.
Few organizations can serve liberals and conservatives - and do it well! Their central message that we can ALL do better really appeals to the patriots of our country who are not blinded by partisanship.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Soulful, patriotic, factual, in depth, concise, relevant, experienced, totally pro constituent for all constituents, accountable, without bias or fear.
Love them and depend on them.
Most grateful for them...
j galdo

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a regular reader for years, It is one of the best source of facts about government corruption around. The F-35 coverage is infuriating, and one hundred percent on target. Keep up the good work.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Simply the only place to keep current on Government waste. Best articles are on the F35.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Project on Government Oversight has provided me with important background information about issues I need to know about to be an aware citizen. It is one of the few organizations that follows whistle-blower suppression, Government purchasing procedures, and legislation that ails to protect the public. I have been able to write informed letters to my representatives after reading POGO's blogs.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO keeps me informed about our Federal government in a totally objective manner. I am continually amazed at the high quality of their research and their trustworthiness. I am very grateful to them for doing what must be a very difficult job.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The people at POGO do a great job researching what is REALLY going on in our government and it's many agencies. We can count on them for the truth.

1 Scott40

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There will always be those people that despite the personal risk to their physical and professional well-being will expose government corruption and fraud. If you choose to do so make sure it is with an organization like Project On Government Oversight because they will insure you do not end up in jail.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

At times it would seem that we are living the last days of Rome, self absorption in our politicians and disdain for anything Washington. It is refreshing to see the tireless work these people do day in day out. There is hope for our country, but only if more "general members of the public" engage themselves in the process. I believe POGO is one of those organizations that is positioned to do just that...

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT AS A POGO SUPPORTER I TRULY AM GLAD AND PLEASED FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO TRULY CARE ABOUT THE WELFARE OF OTHERS, ESPECIALLY GROUPS THAT HAVE BEEN HISTORICALLY AND/OR CURRENTLY OPPRESSED IN ANY WAY!!! SO FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AS LONG AS YOU ARE AROUND, POGO!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In this day of corporations being able to sue governments for loss of profits, we definitely need organizations like the Project on Government Oversight. To the extent that corporations own most Congresspeople, we need POGO to track what those Congresspeople are doing to our democracy.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Would hate to be without POGO's reporting. They provide insights you don't get anywhere else!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love POGO for getting the facts that those of us in the field need. The organization is a vital education tool, especially with regards to military defense budgeting and contracting. As a dedicated cancer activist on the national level, POGO provides keen insights into military waste and fraud that help me better approach the federal budgeting process.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I " entired" my thoughts in a previous entry which I lost. Why I don't know. It is 02:30 here on the west coast & I am not going to chase it down. I will pick up the pen soon.




2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Centre for Defence Information at POGO is the most credible source on airpower issues. For any serious analyst of military aviation, POGO is what the Federalist Papers are for any serious student of the US Constitution: The most authoritative source of information. Their analysis is based exclusively on open-sources information. Pierre Sprey, Dan Grazier, Winslow Wheeler, Franklin C. Spinney, Thomas Christie and Col. Chet Richards (U.S. Air force, ret.), are one of the most knowledgeable and the most credible aircraft analysts in the world, with decades of experience, hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, and academic degrees under their belt. POGO are not biased and don’t have their own agenda. As for the Lockheed Martin's failed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, its defects are so numerous, so publicly available, and extremely expensive to the US taxpayer and the allies that defending it any longer is so ridiculous. One does not need classified information to know the vast majority of the F-35’s defects – the laws of physics cannot be classified etc.

The US and the allies deserve a far better single role air superiority fighter, close air support and interdictor strike bomber aeroplanes to defend their countries defence far better than the F-35.


Sincerely,

Another Guest

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What I like most about The Project on Government Oversight, Inc. (POGO) is that the work tirelessly against government corruption and foolish spending of tax dollars. They get results too! I always cheer when I read their newsletters of what they did or assessments made. Everyone wants an ethical, non-corrupt government. POGO does something about it. Hugs.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO is about as good as it gets when it comes to providing specific, detailed, in-depth information that I can use to make an intelligent phone call to one of my Congresspersons, the White House, the head of a government agency or any other decision-maker. The POGO folks do their homework and they speak truth to power in ways that are urgently needed, especially in times like ours when foxes are being put in charge of the hen houses and it seems like just about everything regarding the public treasury and the public trust are being raffled off to special interests and industry insiders. POGO will tell you who's doing the dirty deeds and help you 'follow the money' to see who really benefits from a particular government program or expenditure. Highly recommended!

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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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NO GROUP, COMMUNITY, STATE, NATION CAN SUSTAIN A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS FOR ANY LEVEL OF GOVERNANCE WITHOUT .... OVERSIGHT. POGO DOES AND HAS DONE A REMARKABLE, INTELLIGENT, BALANCED JOB OF OVERSIGHT FOR THIS NATION. INVALUABLE. THE WORDS, "A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY REQUIRES AN INFORMED CITIZENRY" ARE NOT EMPTY OF ESSENCE, AND POGO IS NEVER EMPTY OF IMPORTANT REPORTING.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

POGO is the government watch-dog we all need, especially in light of the immense amount of corruption going on in every aspect of our government. With the incessant desire to 'out-source' everything government should be doing with dedicated, professional, career workers, there is an even GREATER need for POGO and its equivalent.
Thank you.
Keep following the money.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank goodness POGO is watching our government, digging into superficial reports to uncover waste, abuse, bias, and bringing these to the attention of the public - and the supervisory agencies, hopefully. We should have many more groups doing what they do.