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Project On Government Oversight
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The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. Founded in 1981, POGO (which was then known as Project on Military Procurement) originally worked to expose outrageously overpriced military spending on items such as a $7,600 coffee maker and a $436 hammer. In 1990, after many successes reforming military spending, including a Pentagon spending freeze at the height of the Cold War, POGO decided to expand its mandate and investigate waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the federal government.

Throughout its history, POGO's work has been applauded by Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, federal workers and whistleblowers, other nonprofits, and the media.

Entries by Project On Government Oversight

It's Time to Update Coal Rules That Are Costing Taxpayers Millions

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 7:04 PM


Royalties and other revenues that companies pay to extract natural resources from public lands constitute one of the federal government's largest sources of income -- a whopping $13 billion in 2014. However, considering that the rules governing coal royalties haven't been overhauled in over 25 years, there's...

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A Radioactive Poster Child for Government Waste

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 2:57 PM

By Lydia Dennett

Here’s a lesson on how the federal government and its contractors can turn a relatively modest project into a massive boondoggle.

Back in 2005, officials at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) persuaded Congress to approve a new uranium processing facility. They pitched it...

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State Department Gives Misleading Testimony to Senate

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 4:42 PM

By David S. Hilzenrath

A senior State Department official recently reassured lawmakers that the U.S. embassy in the capital of war-torn Afghanistan is well protected. The centerpiece of his explanation was that the contractor now protecting the embassy had twice proven itself in battle against enemy attackers.

“[T]he proof...

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The False Choice Between Security and Liberty

(7) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 3:01 PM

By Aimee Thomson

Even before Edward Snowden disclosed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was harvesting seemingly every detail of our digital lives, our nation has been wrestling with a Faustian bargain: How do we maintain fundamental American rights of liberty and privacy while responding to the need to...

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Billions of Defense Contract Dollars May Go Unaudited

(5) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 3:20 PM

By Scott Amey

Potentially billions of taxpayer dollars may be going out the door to defense contractors without the normal scrutiny Defense Department auditors usually give to this spending. And it might be too late for the government to get our money back even when some of those contract dollars...

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Does New Policy Protect Intelligence Whistleblowers?

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 2:47 PM

By Arden Arnold

July 7 marked an important date for intelligence community whistleblowers. It was the deadline for the implementation of Parts A and B of Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), which extends protections to whistleblowers from the secretive and often unaccountable intelligence community. While other federal...

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Shielding the Whistleblowers

(3) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 3:25 PM

Originally published in Politico

By Debra S. Katz and Danielle Brian

Seaman Kori Cioca, who was featured in The Invisible War, an Academy Award-nominated movie about sexual assault in the U.S. military, long dreamed of enlisting in the armed forces and dedicating her life to the service of...

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Cell Phone Services Show Broken Buying System

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 3:46 PM

By Scott Amey

Last month, Norman Dong from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was a presenter at the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) conference in College Park, Maryland. Dong’s presentation explained how the Obama administration is working to be more efficient and cost effective. For...

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SEC Taps Wall Street Lawyer to Police Wall Street

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 11:42 AM

By Michael Smallberg

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday that it has tapped a Wall Street lawyer to police Wall Street.

The appointment comes as no surprise because the agency typically draws regulators from the ranks of the regulated. But it does illustrate a significant problem: by relying...

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Big Businesses Offer Revolving Door Rewards

(8) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 12:06 PM

By Michael Smallberg

During former Citigroup executive Jack Lew’s recent confirmation as Treasury Secretary, some people were surprised and troubled to learn that the big bank had promised him special financial awards if he left to take a job in the government. His employment contract was seen as rewarding him...

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Prospective SEC Chairman Dismisses Revolving Door Concerns

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 1:10 PM

By Michael Smallberg

Mary Jo White—President Obama’s nominee to serve as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—said at her confirmation hearing today that the investing public need not worry about her history of defending companies from the government.

But her explanation was less than reassuring. If...

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Budget for MOX Program Cut by 75 Percent

(2) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 11:45 AM

By Danielle Brian

The beleaguered Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) program at the Savannah River Site was targeted for possible cancellation last fall, but ongoing discussions resulted in a recent lifeline offered by a top Department of Energy official, which appears to have been accepted by the White House.

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Should SIGAR Have Suspension and Debarment Power?

(4) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 6:52 PM

By Neil Gordon

From time to time, the Project On Government Oversight highlights the excellent work being done by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to curb fraud, waste, and abuse in the U.S. reconstruction mission in Afghanistan—now in its twelfth year and closing in on...

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Army of One... Contractor

(3) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 1:35 PM

By Neil Gordon

Mark Thompson posted an interesting federal contracting-related tidbit last week on TIME’s national security blog, Battleland. He looked at a list of recent Department of Defense contract awards and noticed that many of them had received only one bid.

Of the 35 contracts in the...

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EPA Sends a Message With BP Suspension

(8) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 10:11 AM

The federal contracting community is abuzz today with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement that energy company BP P.L.C. and several of its affiliates have been suspended from federal contracting.

The EPA justified its action citing BP's "lack of business integrity" as demonstrated by...

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Our Nuclear Insecurity Complex

(4) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 11:44 AM

By Peter Stockton

Back in July, an 82-year-old nun and two fellow peace activists breached the security at the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee. The red-faced federal officials who subsequently promised thorough oversight proclaimed they had "no tolerance" for that kind of negligence.

Since then, it's only...

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Pentagon Intensifies Efforts to Plug Leaks, Catch Leakers

(4) Comments | Posted October 19, 2012 | 10:38 AM

By Nick Schwellenbach

The Secretary of Defense sternly warned Defense Department employees Thursday that the government will scour news reports for leaks of classified information, try to unmask the leakers, and refer cases to the Justice Department -- which has the power to prosecute.

In a sweeping memo,...

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New Podcast: Just How Secret Is the Government?

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 12:52 PM

By Andre Francisco

How many secrets does the government have? And where are they keeping them? POGO's Joe Newman and Suzie Dershowitz sat down with Amy Bennett from, which just released its annual Secrecy Report, to discuss how secret the federal government was last...

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Indefensible: The Truth About Pentagon Spending

(3) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 5:51 PM

By Suzanne Dershowitz

Today there's a debate raging about the federal budget, our national spending priorities and how best to protect our national security and our men and women on the front lines.

With the U.S. war in Iraq officially over and our operations in Afghanistan drawing down, this is...

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Right, Left and Middle Agree: Reshaping the Pentagon Budget Won't Hurt the Economy

(22) Comments | Posted August 15, 2012 | 7:58 PM

By Suzie Dershowitz

A recent study by Benjamin Zycher from the libertarian think tank the CATO Institute reaffirms what we've been saying all along: Cutting Pentagon spending will not cause the economic nightmare or job loss catastrophe the defense industry wants us to fear.

In addition to CATO,...

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