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Project on Government Oversight

POGO 2010 Impact and Accomplishments

Here are some of POGO's 2010 Impact and Accomplishments


Untangling Conflicts of Interest at a Broken Agency

Following 15 years of POGO raising concerns about conflicts of mission at the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the Interior Department agency responsible for oversight of offshore drilling, the executive branch adopted reforms championed by POGO to divide MMS into separate bureaus with strengthened ethics rules.

Shedding Light on Contractor Responsibility Information

POGO has been at the forefront of the fight for public access to information in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), the government’s new database containing contractor responsibility information. In July 2010, Congress signed into a law a provision requiring information in FAPIIS to be available to the public online. POGO also updated its own database, the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD), upon which FAPIIS is modeled.

Pushing Congress to Add Accountability Measures to Financial Reform

POGO played a pivotal role in strengthening the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by working with Congress to add whistleblower protections for financial industry employees; rewards and protections for whistleblowers who provide tips to financial regulators; a Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of the Federal Reserve; consumer financial protections; and greater independence for Inspectors General at financial regulatory agencies. These transparency and accountability measures will strengthen the financial regulatory system and help avert another financial meltdown.

Bringing More Openness to Executive Branch Agencies

With the December 2009 release of the Open Government Directive—the Obama Administration effort to bring increased transparency to the executive branch—agencies have been required to undertake a variety of open government initiatives. As part of an effort spearheaded by OpenTheGovernment.org, POGO has been monitoring agency progress on these initiatives, and has worked with agencies to bring about improved compliance with the Open Government Directive as they move forward with their Open Government Plans.

Closing Secrecy Loophole in Financial Regulatory Reform Legislation

POGO led the charge in an effort to strike language from the Dodd-Frank Act that had given the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sweeping new powers to hide its records from public scrutiny. President Obama signed a bill to repeal this portion of the financial regulatory reform legislation in October, 2010.

Organizing and Presenting Second Annual Whistleblower Film Series

Our second Whistleblower Film Series, part of the 10th annual DC Labor FilmFest, showcased films that explore the valuable role of whistleblowers at a critical time in the effort to restore and modernize protections for federal government employees. The 2010 Series featured the Washington, D.C., premiere of Fair Game and two screenings of The Informant!

Facilitating Monthly Oversight Training Series on the Hill

POGO's Congressional Oversight Training Series (COTS) continues to spark idea exchange, encourage collaboration, and hone the investigative skills of congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle.

Exploring Solutions for the Nuclear Weapons Complex

In September 2010 POGO released a report on modernizing the nuclear weapons complex. POGO concluded that by downblending highly enriched uranium—reducing the enrichment levels of its uranium from 80-90 percent to under percent—the U.S. can increase national security and generate up to $23 billion in revenue for the Treasury.

Spurring Review of Inspector General Hotlines

Following our 2009 investigation into the Inspector General (IG) system, POGO urged the IG community to conduct a review of its whistleblower hotlines, a key avenue for intake of whistleblower tips. In response, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) released Recommended Practices of Office of Inspector General Hotlines, a report highlighting best practices for hotlines from around the IG community.

Sparking Other Investigations

POGO’s work also motivated IG offices to open other investigations: the Department of the Interior’s IG began an investigation into ethics at the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Health and Human Services IG reopened an investigation into allegations of whistleblower retaliation at the Food and Drug Administration.

Testifying on Capitol Hill   

POGO testified five times in 2010 on Capitol Hill: