About POGO

andre francisco

Andre Francisco

Former Online Producer

afrancisco@pogo.org |

Year Started At POGO: 2011

PGP Fingerprint: 87D8 98E2 4CD8 4770 B6A8 89C5 7C4E 0A1E 85A0 DCFE

PGP Public Key

Standing Up for Victims of Pollution

May 27, 2014

On April 23, 2014, the Project On Government Oversight joined the Environmental Working Group, veterans, activists and others at a rally in front of the Supreme Court to make sure the government doesn't turn its back on victims of pollution.

Help Us Hold the VA Accountable

May 15, 2014

Announcing the launch of www.VAOversight.org, where potential whistleblowers who work at the Department of Veterans Affairs can submit anonymous tips to the Project On Government Oversight.

Kris Thomas, Camp Lejeune Male Breast Cancer Victim

April 28, 2014

Kris Thomas speaks at a rally near the Supreme Court in support of the estimated one million Marines, their families and civilians who were poisoned by contaminated drinking water at Marine Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Jerry Ensminger Speaks at the Rally for Camp Lejeune

April 25, 2014

Retired U.S. Marine Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger speaks at a rally near the Supreme Court in support of the estimated one million Marines, their families and civilians who were poisoned by contaminated drinking water at Marine Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Mike Partain: What Cancer Does

April 25, 2014

Mike Partain was born at Camp Lejeune and is one of the many men connected to the Camp Lejeune water contamination that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. He spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court.

Erin Brockovich's Speech at Rally for Camp Lejeune Victims

April 23, 2014

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich speaks at a rally near the Supreme Court in support of the estimated one million Marines, their families and civilians who were poisoned by contaminated drinking water at Marine Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) Discusses Trade Secrets with the FDA

March 5, 2014

From a hearing on the FDA's surveillance of whistleblowers in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Sen. Chuck Grassley on Whistleblowers vs. Bureaucracy

March 5, 2014

Sen. Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the FDA's surveillance of whistleblowers.

How Will the FDA Protect Whistleblowers?

March 5, 2014

Angela Canterbury, the Director of Public Policy at the Project On Government Oversight, challenges the Food and Drug Administration's policy for protecting whistleblowers and their legal disclosures. From a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Two Congressmen Argue Over FDA Whistleblower Report

March 5, 2014

Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) argue during a hearing on the FDA's surveillance of whistleblowers that was held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

EITI Meeting December 11-12, 2013

December 11, 2013

Information about the December 11-12, 2013 meeting of the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

EITI Meeting June 10-11, 2014

December 11, 2013

Audio recordings from the June 10-11, 2014 meeting of the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Podcast: Exploring Transparency for Oil and Gas Extraction

December 4, 2013

Mia Steinle talks about POGO's involvement in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the hurdles to increased transparency for oil, gas and hard rock minerals here in the U.S.

Government Spending Billions on Nuclear Facility We Don't Need

October 9, 2013

POGO's Lydia Dennett gives a 90-second rundown on the Uranimum Processing Facility (UPF), which is decades behind schedule, billions over budget, and doesn't even need to be built.

Introducing Ethan Rosenkranz, POGO's Newest Staffer

September 16, 2013

Ethan Rosenkranz will be joining POGO as a national security policy analyst. In that role, he will help develop national security and defense-related policy recommendations, disseminate and publicize investigatory findings, advocate reforms to the media, public, and Congress, and contribute to POGO investigations.

New Info Reveals Old Lies About Area 51

August 23, 2013

POGO's Scott Amey talks about POGO's past with Area 51, the secretive Air Force base, now that the military has officially acknowledged its existence and name.

EITI Meeting November 5, 2013

August 16, 2013

Information about the November 5, 2013 meeting of the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Help Shine a Light on the Murky Waters of D.C.

August 12, 2013

Help POGO shine a light on the predators swimming in the waters of D.C. Donate here - http://bit.ly/14EFzvy

Huge Victory On Wasteful Defense Spending

August 12, 2013

This week, POGO and a coalition of bipartisan groups helped cut $4.3 billion in wasteful spending from the defense budget.

The Marathon Radio Interview with POGO's Scott Amey

June 20, 2013

POGO General Counsel Scott Amey did an hour and half of back-to-back radio interviews on government contracting and issues with security clearances in the wake of Edward Snowden's leak of highly classified NSA documents.

Introducing POGO's New Mobile Website

April 22, 2013

We are pleased to launch the new mobile site for the Project On Government Oversight with easy ways to stay updated on our investigations and write your Members of Congress while on the go. See for yourself by pointing your phone to http://www.pogo.org

Celebrating Open Government and Sunshine Week 2013

March 8, 2013

March 10-16 is Sunshine Week 2013, where groups from around the country celebrate the important achievments in open government and discuss what more needs to be done to foster transparency at all levels of government.

Podcast: The Foreign Policy Auction with Ben Freeman

October 23, 2012

POGO's Ben Freeman just released his book The Foreign Policy Auction, so we sat down with him to find out who is paying to change U.S. foreign policy and how.

Podcast: Just How Secret is the Government?

September 25, 2012

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

Obama Signs Health Care Bill into Law for Camp Lejeune Victims

August 30, 2012

On August 6, President Obama signed into law a bill that would provide health care to the nearly 1 million victims of the 30-year water poisoning at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The tireless work of documentary filmmakers, Ret. MSgt. Jerry Ensminger, the Environmental Working Group and POGO helped get this bill passed.

Help Protect Our Democracy from the Big Money Lobbyist Shark

August 13, 2012

There is a dangerous shark roaming the waters in and around Washington. Help protect Washington against this shark by donating to the Project On Government Oversight today. http://getinvolved.pogo.org/site/Donation2?df_id=2080&2080.donation=form1

Without Inspectors General, What Government Waste Are We Missing?

June 6, 2012

Inspectors General are the watchdogs of government, but right now some agencies have been without an IG for over a thousand days. What government waste are we missing with so many empty IG positions? Find out more at http://www.pogo.org/resources/good-government/go-igi-20120208-where-are-all-the-watchdogs-inspector-general-vacancies1.html

Podcast: Winslow Wheeler on the Jet That Ate the Pentagon and Congress's Addiction to Defense Spending

June 6, 2012

Several POGO staffers recently sat down with longtime defense analyst Winslow Wheeler, the director of the Straus Military Reform Project and latest addition to Team POGO, to discuss a range of defense issues—everything from the jet that ate the Pentagon to Congress's addiction to national security spending.

POGO Testifies on Inspectors General Vacancies

June 1, 2012

Former Project On Government Oversight investigator Jake Wiens testified before the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee about the worrying number of federal Inspector General (IG) positions that do not have permanent leadership. Without a strong set of IGs, the waste, fraud and abuse of government funds can easily go unchecked.

Podcast: A Father Talks About His Quest for Justice at Camp Lejeune

April 5, 2012

Since finding out that the water at Camp Lejenue may have been connected with his daughter's death, Jerry Ensminger has been on a quest to learn the truth about Camp Lejeune and to get justice for the contamination victims--as many as one million Marines and their family members, according to some estimates.

Shine a Light on the Defense Budget

March 28, 2012

You deserve to know how the government spends $662 billion of your money. That is why you should join POGO and a long list of other organizations in asking the Senate to open up its drafting of the National Defense Authorization Act. Help shine a light on the defense budget by going to http://www.openndaa.org.

Sen. McCaskill Praises POGO Report on Government Contracting

March 14, 2012

Government spending on contractors has grown out of control, but it is rarely mentioned in Washington. At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Claire McCaskill questioned Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about how the "monster" of government contracting got out of control. McCaskill cited POGO's Bad Business report that showed that federal contractors cost 1.8 times more than federal employeess to perform the same job.

Consider Joining the POGO Community and Donating Today

March 5, 2012

POGO works with a growing community of people who are concerned with Transparency, Accountability and Oversight in the federal government. Will you consider making a difference alongside them by providing an investment to support POGO's work. Consider Donating Today - http://www.pogo.org/donate

Podcast: Dissecting the President's FY 2013 Budget

February 29, 2012

POGO staffers recently sat down to dissect the President's fiscal year 2013 budget request. Did the executive branch ask Congress to keep funding the Energy Department's billion-dollar boondoggles? Did costly weapons systems get curtailed? Will U.S. troops continue to keep a watchful eye on Italian beaches?

Problems Looming in Iraq for State Dept. As Security Contractors Set to Double

January 30, 2012

The State Department has a poor record of overseeing private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan and now as U.S. troops leave Iraq, the number of security contractors is going double. This presents an opportunity for all kinds of oversight

Whistleblowers Are the Only Window Into the World of National Security

January 5, 2012

National security whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Thomas Tamm spoke about the importance of the 4th amendment and whistleblower protections after a screening of All The President's Men as a part of POGO's Whistleblower Film Series.

Video: Project On Government Oversight: The Secret to Our Success (We Couldn't Do It Without You)

December 14, 2011

2011 has been an excellent year for us at the Project On Government Oversight, and we wanted to share some of our successes and our gratitude with all of our supporters who have read our reports, shared our stories, tweeted at us, answered an action alert or made a donation. Thank you for your amazing support. It's what keeps us going, and it is why we do what we do. With your support, we can make 2012 the biggest year yet for POGO and our supporters

Video: U.S. Taxpayer Dollars Facilitating Human Labor Trafficking on Military Bases

December 5, 2011

US taxpayers are paying contractors who participate in human trafficking on US military bases around the world. Thousands of poor, rural men are being held in warehouses for months without pay after promises of high salaries. These men are used to build and maintain US military bases in combat zones, and they are being routinely exploited by a subcontractor system with little oversight. Sindhu P. Kavinamannil and Sam W. McCahon are making a documentary about human labor trafficking, and they came to sit down at POGO and record a podcast about their findings. Watch a short teaser for the podcast here. Stay tuned for the full podcast.

Video: Overpaying Government Contractors: Getting the Conversation Started

October 3, 2011

We went out on the National Mall to talk to some people about how the government is paying a premium to hire contractors to do jobs that federal employees could do for less money. It's a complicated issue, but when presented with the facts it is easy to see that the government needs to take another look at how it does contracting. Tell Your Member of Congress We Can't Afford Overpriced Service Contractors By Clicking Here - https://secure3.convio.net/pogo/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=197&3

Is the U.S. spending too much on private contractors?

September 28, 2011

As the government increased spending on federal contractors from $200 billion to $500 billion a year, the Project On Government Oversight began looking at how that money was spent. Recently we release our Bad Business report that debunks the myth that contractors are cheaper than federal employees. In this video, POGO's Scott Amey gives some background on the rise of federal contractors and how POGO came to do the Bad Business report. Read the report here http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/reports/contract-oversight/bad-business/co-gp-20110913.html

Podcast: Discussing the Bad Business Report

September 15, 2011

The topic was the recently released Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors report. The report studied 35 occupational classifications to see if outsourcing federal government jobs to contractors was cost effective. To find out the results, and hear some analysis and special commentary.

Video: Wasting Billions of Taxpayer Dollars on Government Contractors

September 12, 2011

The government is wasting billions of dollars a year by hiring more expensive government contractors, according to a new report by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). POGO General Counsel Scott Amey and POGO Investigator Paul Chassy talk about the report. The government is looking for any way to reduce the deficit, and this report shows that one of the first places they should look is the wasteful federal contracting system. http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/reports/contract-oversight/bad-business/co-gp-20110913.html

Video: What Would You Pay? - Boeing Overcharging Government for Spare Parts

August 29, 2011

We went out on the streets of Washington D.C. to ask people what they think about the government paying $327.60 for a part that costs $8.88. They weren't happy. Boeing overcharged the U.S. Army a total of $13 million for helicopter spare parts. But even more outrageous is that the government isn't asking for a refund. Join the people we talked to in asking Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to demand a refund from Boeing by clicking here - http://getinvolved.pogo.org/boeingrefund

Podcast: Get to Know an Agency: A Refresher Course on the Office of Special Counsel and Whistleblowers

August 17, 2011

On this week's podcast, Adam Miles, from the Office of Special Council, gives an overview of how the OSC works with federal whistleblowers. Miles was a speaker at the July, 2011 meeting of POGO's Congressional Oversight Training Series.

Help Marine Corps Whistleblower Get his Career Back

August 10, 2011

Franz Gayl, a Marine Corps science adviser, exposed the fact that the Marine Corps ignored an urgent request from troops in Iraq for vehicles that are better protected against improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs. But Gayl was stripped of his security clearance, effectively ending his career.

Harry Shearer's The Big Uneasy - The Army Corps' Katrina Cover Up

July 27, 2011

On July 18, The Project On Government Oversight was part of a screening of Harry Shearer's new documentary The Big Uneasy about the flooding of New Orleans. After the screening, Shearer was part of a panel with POGO's Executive Director Danielle Brian and George Sorvalis from the National Wildlife Foundation and the Water Protection Network. Shearer and Brian talked about the changes they think need to be made to the Army Corps of Engineers. Shearer is famous for his role in mockumentaries like Spinal Tap and his voice work on The Simpsons. For more info about the movie go to http://www.thebiguneasy.com

Video: What's Happening: Explaining Medical Ghostwriting

July 19, 2011

If you've been hearing about medical ghostwriting but aren't sure what it is, POGO investigator Paul Thacker is here to explain what's happening.

Video: Tell the Army to Demand a Refund from Boeing

July 13, 2011

Boeing has been ripping off taxpayers by charging outrageous prices for a variety of helicopter spare parts.One part, a straight pin, was marked up by an astonishing 177,000 percent. That's like paying $71.01 for one after-dinner mint.

Bob Alvarez talks about the dangers of spent nuclear fuel rods

July 12, 2011

Bob Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute of Policy Studies, talks with POGO staff about the dangers of how spent nuclear fuel rods are stored in the U.S. To hear more of this great discussion and learn what a solution is for the problem of nuclear fuel rods, go listen to the full podcast.

Budget Deal Takes Pressure Off Pentagon to Cut Waste

December 17, 2013

The bipartisan budget agreement will take the pressure off the Pentagon when they were finally beginning to make difficult but necessary choices to rein in the out-of-control defense budget, according to an op-ed by Ethan Rosenkranz.

POGO Testifies on Rights of National Security Employees

December 4, 2013

POGO's Angela Canterbury testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee about a devastating court decision that stripped federal employees in national security sensitive positions of their right to appeal an adverse personnel action.

Podcast: Exploring Transparency for Oil and Gas Extraction

December 4, 2013

In this podcast, POGO’s Mia Steinle talks about POGO's involvement in EITI and the hurdles the initiative faces in its goal of increased royalty transparency for oil, gas and hard rock minerals.

Take Action: Tell Air Force to Delay F-35 Decision

November 8, 2013

The Air Force plans to base its new jet aircraft, the F-35A, in Vermont even though it scored the lowest among other potential bases and would cost four times as much as a base in Florida.

DOJ Whistleblower Calls Warrantless Wiretapping Unjustified

October 15, 2013

Recently, DOJ whistleblower Thomas Tamm talked to Montana Public Radio about the American surveillance state and how he became a whistleblower.

90 Seconds on Waste at the Dept. of Energy

October 11, 2013

Don’t have time to read our in-depth report on the problems at the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF)? No problem. POGO’s Lydia Dennett is ready to give you the key facts of the report and an anecdote that will make your head spin in this 90-second video.

Map Shows State Dept. Official Gave Misleading Testimony to Congress

September 10, 2013

A top State Department official delivered inaccurate and misleading testimony to a Senate panel in July, when he dismissed concerns about security at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Sen. Grassley Writes White House to Protect Whistleblowers

September 6, 2013

In a letter to President Obama, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) pushed for clarification of a recent court ruling that would strip many federal employees of their civil service rights and whistleblower protections.

Pentagon Supports Reducing LCS Fleet to 24 Ships

September 3, 2013

Top decision makers in the Pentagon support reducing the total purchase of the Littoral Combat Ship to only 24 ships, down from 52, according to Defense News.

House Committee Launches VA Accountability Website

September 3, 2013

In an effort to highlight some of the accountability and oversight issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a House committee has launched a new page called VA Accountability Watch.

New Book to Chronicle Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

August 29, 2013

A new book about the thirty-five years of water contamination at Camp Lejeune that sickened hundreds of thousands of Marines and their families will be released early next year, according to an article in the Military Times.

Senators Question DOJ on NSA Info Sharing

August 29, 2013

In a letter last week, a group of Senate Democrats asked Attorney General Eric Holder to clarify how the National Security Agency (NSA) shares information with domestic law enforcement agencies while still protecting Americans’ constitutional rights.

VIDEO: New Info Reveals Old Lies About #Area51

August 23, 2013

Now that Area 51 officially exists, POGO's Scott Amey revisits POGO's 1990s investigation into the existence of the secretive military base.

The Price for Proper Channel Whistleblowing

August 21, 2013

President Obama has insisted that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could have raised his concerns through proper, and protected, channels, but The Washington Post tells the story of how even internal whistleblowing can be dangerous.

Despite What Obama Says, Intelligence Contractors Have Few Protections

August 13, 2013

In a news conference last week, President Obama implied that Edward Snowden could have voiced his concerns through official channels and been protected from retaliation as a whistleblower, but that's not true.

What the Pentagon Looks Like Under Sequestration Cuts

August 12, 2013

POGO's Winslow Wheeler went on C-SPAN to talk about how the planned defense budget cuts have changed the Pentagon and what improvements need to happen in the future.

Whistleblowing Study Examines Fairness vs. Loyalty

August 7, 2013

Individuals primed with a writing task on fairness were much more likely to blow the whistle on wrongdoing than those who wrote about loyalty, according to a new study.

IG Report That Scrubbed Panetta Disclosure Gets Award

July 8, 2013

The inspector general team that wrote a report on the Pentagon’s cooperation with the makers of the film Zero Dark Thirty received a “Team of the Year” award despite the final report being scrubbed of some top secret disclosures.

Secret Court Decisions Expand Surveillance Powers

July 8, 2013

The classified rulings of a secretive court are creating a new body of law that greatly expands the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency, according to an article in The New York Times.

New Podcast: How the Intelligence World Came to Rely on Contractors

June 27, 2013

Why did the United States start outsourcing so many of its intelligence activities? What risks and costs does this pose to the government?

The Hill Calls POGO’s Danielle Brian 'A Voice for Whistleblowers'

June 26, 2013

Yesterday, The Hill profiled Danielle Brian, the Project On Government Oversight’s executive director, and reexamined her decades of work to protect whistleblowers.

Op-Ed Argues for More Whistleblowers, Not Fewer

June 24, 2013

An op-ed in The Baltimore Sun argues that the long list of secret and questionable activities by the government means we need more whistleblowers to expose wrongdoing and inform the public.

Three NSA Whislteblowers Speak Out on Snowden

June 19, 2013

Three former National Security Agency whistleblowers, Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe, talked with USA Today about Edward Snowden's recent leak about the NSA surveillance program.

Does America Have a Security-Industrial Complex?

June 18, 2013

A new article in The Atlantic argues that the level of secrecy in Washington has become “absurd,” especially around intelligence and defense programs.

GAP Releases Statement on Snowden and the NSA

June 17, 2013

The Government Accountability Project's (GAP) statement notes that Edward Snowden is facing “classic acts of predatory reprisal” for his leak of highly classified documents about the NSA’s surveillance programs.

NSA Leak Prompts Talk of Limiting Contractor Access to Secrets

June 17, 2013

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leak of highly classified documents from the National Security Agency, some in Congress are raising concerns about contractors’ access to government secrets, according to an article in The New York Times.

First Big Test for New SEC Chair

June 13, 2013

The appointment of Robert Rice as counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the first big test for Mary Jo White, the new head of the SEC, according to an article in CNN Money.

POGO Supports Bill to Declassify Surveillance Court Opinions

June 12, 2013

A new bipartisan bill from eight Senators seeks to expand transparency and accountability of secret surveillance programs conducted under the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Intelligence Contractors like Snowden Excluded from Whistleblower Protections

June 12, 2013

Even as whistleblower protections have expanded, intelligence contractors like National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden are left in the cold, according to an article in the International Business Times.

Report: Possible Cover-Up of Sex and Drugs at the State Department

June 11, 2013

An internal memo reveals that the State Department “covered up” allegations of illegal behavior by its security officials including sexual assault and solicitation of prostitution, according to a report by CBS News.

NSA Leaker Came From Massive Intelligence Contractor

June 10, 2013

The latest national security leak comes not from a government employee, but from one of the many contractors now hired to run parts of our national security state, according to an article in The New York Times.

Unreleased: Probe Finds CIA Honcho Disclosed Top Secret Info to Hollywood

June 5, 2013

In a new article, POGO revealed a previously unreleased Defense Department Inspector General’s office report that says former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta disclosed top secret information at an event attended by a Hollywood executive working on the movie Zero Dark Thirty.

Sen. Shaheen Pushes White House on Declassification

June 4, 2013

Last week, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) urged President Obama to follow the recommendations of a congressionally appointed board tasked with evaluating the government’s classification system, according to an article in The Huffington Post.

How Much Does an F-35 Really Cost?

June 3, 2013

The Pentagon plans to spend $400 billion on designing and buying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the military's newest fighter jet and the most expensive weapons program in history. But how much does a single F-35 actually cost?

Obama Tries to Shut Revolving Door, but Aides Slip Through

May 31, 2013

President Obama made it a priority to reduce the role of special interests in Washington and to slow the revolving door, but many former White House aides have recently been hired as consultants to influence the White House.

Congress Fighting Base Closures Despite Cost Savings

May 30, 2013

Congress is refusing to allow the Pentagon to save money by closing unnecessary bases and facilities, according to an article in Government Executive.

NYT Editorial Questions Nuke Funding

May 28, 2013

The New York Times criticized President Obama’s funding of the B61 nuclear bombs stationed in Europe in a Sunday editorial.

Bank Lobbyists Writing the Rules for Wall Street

May 24, 2013

It might be logical to assume that lawmakers are the ones who make laws, but bank lobbyists are playing a larger role in writing financial regulations, according to an article in The New York Times.

Hagel Orders Pentagon to Buy New Software for Heath Records

May 23, 2013

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has ordered the Pentagon to buy a new healthcare management system to better communicate with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to an article in The Washington Post.

Justice’s Seizure of AP’s Phone Records Threatens Press Freedom

May 22, 2013

The Justice Department’s seizure of records for 20 phone lines of Associated Press reporters and editors is only the latest in a continued attack on press freedoms, according to POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian.

Memo Leaked to Retaliate Against Fast and Furious Whistleblower

May 21, 2013

A former top federal prosecutor leaked an internal memo to retaliate against the lead whistleblower in the Fast and Furious gun-smuggling scandal, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Camp Lejeune Finally Cleaning Up Its Act

May 20, 2013

Nearly 30 years after the end of what is likely the worst water contamination in U.S. history, the cleanup of the site of the contamination is finally nearing an end, according to an article from the Associated Press.

White House Brings Back Bill to Shield Journalists

May 16, 2013

In the wake of the AP phone records scandal, the White House is reviving a bill that would protect journalists from revealing their sources, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

AP Case Throws More Doubt on Obama’s Whistleblower Policies

May 15, 2013

The news that the Justice Department reviewed a broad range of Associated Press phone records in an effort to track down a national security leak is yet another indication of the Obama administration’s overzealous prosecution of leakers and whistleblowers.

The Ugly End to the Largest Service Contract in U.S History

May 13, 2013

Dealings between KBR and the Army have gotten “very nasty” as the two try to close out the largest government services contract in U.S. history, according to an article in Federal Times.

Security Laws Must Include Transparency and Accountability

May 10, 2013

Any laws to expand the powers of the FBI in the wake of the Boston bombings should explicitly include transparency and accountability provisions, according to a new op-ed in The Atlantic by Bruce Schneier.

Watchdog Says Government Trying to Silence Embarrassing Afghanistan Reports

May 9, 2013

John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), says the government is trying to interfere with his independent investigations because his reports are embarrassing to the White House and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to an article in Politico.

A Nun, a House Painter, and a Drifter Walk into a Nuclear Complex

April 30, 2013

It sounds like the start of an absurd joke, but that’s what happened last summer at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee. Three peace activists broke into one of the most secure nuclear-weapons facilities in the U.S., often called the Fort Knox of Uranium.

CIA Used Bags of Cash to Buy Influence in Afghanistan

April 29, 2013

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been giving the office of Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, secret deliveries of cash for more than a decade, according to an article in The New York Times.

Feds Continue to Pay for Empty Bank Accounts

April 25, 2013

The federal government will spend at least $890,000 this year on fees for empty bank accounts, according to an article in The Washington Post.

Another Former Lockheed Employee Takes Key Senate job

April 25, 2013

Another former Hill staffer with Lockheed Martin on their resume will fill the job of Republican staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to an article in ProPublica.

How the VA Got This Bad

April 23, 2013

The spotlight of public scrutiny has turned to the staggering backlog of disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but how did the backlog get this big?

F-22s Make Three ‘Precautionary’ Landings in Japan

April 19, 2013

In early April, three F-22 jets were forced to make “precautionary landings” at Kadena Air Base in Japan, according to an article in Defense Tech.

Why Is the Army Accepting Unfinished Apache Helicopters?

April 18, 2013

The Army has officially accepted seven Apache Guardian helicopters from Boeing despite the helicopters not have transmissions systems installed, according to an article in AOL Defense.

Pentagon Budget Ignores Sequestration, Relies on Old Ideas

April 17, 2013

President Obama’s budget request for the Department of Defense ignores the reality of the sequestration cuts and suggests old ideas to save money, according to an analysis by Winslow Wheeler.

House Votes to Bar Tax-Delinquent Contractors But Not Individuals

April 16, 2013

The House unanimously passed a bill to bar contractors who are behind on their taxes from receiving federal funds, according to an article in The Washington Post.

New Navy Ship Suffers ‘Minor’ Damage from Fires at Sea

April 15, 2013

The newest littoral combat ship (LCS) caught fire twice during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico, according to an article in Defense News.

Air Force Budget Seeks to Buy More F-35s, Reduce Ranks

April 12, 2013

The 2014 budget request from the Air Force includes funding for 19 additional F-35 fighter jets and cuts active-duty personnel by 1,900 airmen, according to an article in DoD Buzz.

Government Wasting Tens of Billions Through Duplicative Programs

April 11, 2013

Duplicative programs from catfish inspections to foreign-language support are causing the federal government to waste tens of billions of dollars a year, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Participate in Extractive Industries Transparency Meeting

April 10, 2013

Tomorrow the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative will meet for the second time and the public is encouraged to call in to listen to the meeting and speak during the public remarks section.

Powerful Firm Becomes Second Home for Financial Regulators

April 10, 2013

Promontory Financial Group, a consulting firm, has become a powerful player in the financial regulatory world partially because nearly two-thirds of the company’s senior executives came from financial regulatory agencies, according to The New York Times.

Former Nuclear Regulator Says All Reactors Have Unfixable Flaw

April 9, 2013

A major safety problem in all 104 nuclear power reactors in the U.S. cannot be fixed and must be replaced with newer technology, according to Gregory Jaczko, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

When Over-Classification Starts Wars

April 5, 2013

A new series of blog posts over on Defusing the Nuclear Threat is highlighting how over-classification of documents can not only be wasteful, but dangerous.

DOD Inspector General Finds $900 Million Spare Part Stockpile

April 4, 2013

The Army bought nearly $900 million worth of spare parts for the Stryker armored fighting vehicle even as the parts became obsolete or unnecessary, according to a report by the Defense Department Office of Inspector General.

Former SEC Chief Finds Consulting Firm Through Revolving Door

April 2, 2013

Mary Schapiro, the former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is joining Promontory Financial Group LLC, a major private consulting firm stocked with former regulators, according to an article in The Hill.

Stock Trading Heading to Dark Pools to Avoid Regulation

April 1, 2013

An increasing amount of stocks are being traded in private dark pools away from public scrutiny and government regulation, according to an article in The New York Times.

DOJ’s Breuer Goes Back Through the Revolving Door

March 28, 2013

The head of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) criminal division is returning to the private sector as a vice chairman of a major law firm, according to an article in DealBook.

Jon Stewart Tears Into "Criminal" VA Backlog

March 28, 2013

On Wednesday’s episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart decried the extremely long wait times veterans are facing for their disability claims and medical appointments despite an increase in funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Missile Defense System That Won’t Die

March 26, 2013

Army brass and the Senate have said they don’t want Lockheed Martin’s latest missile defense system, but the government is going to pay for it anyway, according to an article in DOD Buzz.

Senate Intelligence Panel Moving Toward Transparency

March 25, 2013

In a welcome move, the Senate Intelligence Committee said they will release information on how individual senators vote on measures and nominations before the committee, according to an article in Roll Call.

FDA to Tighten Regulations on Defibrillators

March 22, 2013

After 45,000 malfunctions and 88 recalls since 2005, the Food and Drug Administration is seeking tougher regulations on the heart defibrillator industry, according to an article in The New York Times.

VA Backlog is Huge and Records Are Unreliable

March 21, 2013

As many as hundreds of thousands of veterans could be in the Department of Veteran Affairs backlog waiting for medical appointments, David Hilzenrath, the Project On Government Oversight’s editor-in-chief, said on Public News Service today.

Big Businesses Offer Revolving Door Rewards

March 21, 2013

Major corporations are making it financially advantageous for executives to take government jobs, according to a new article by the Project On Government Oversight that reviewed regulatory filings from major Wall Street firms.

Bipartisan Bill Aims to Modernize FOIA

March 13, 2013

A draft bipartisan bill announced on Tuesday would “mandate a single online portal for all Freedom of Information Act requests across government,” according to an article in NextGov.

Video: Join POGO in Celebrating Sunshine Week

March 11, 2013

Watch the video with POGO's Danielle Brian to get caught up on the big open government victories from last year and some of the challenges ahead.

Transparency Advocates Span the Political Spectrum

March 11, 2013

To kick off Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of all things open government, we’d like to point you to a great story in The Washington Examiner about how transparency advocates can be found across the political spectrum.

Contractor at Hanford Nuclear Waste Project Admits Fraud

March 8, 2013

A “key contractor” involved in the construction of a nuclear waste processing plant in Hanford, Wash., admitted to criminal time card fraud, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Pick for Top Wall Street Cop Has Defended Bank Execs

March 7, 2013

The leading candidate for the job of chief of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) formerly defended JPMorgan and a chief executive of Bank of America, according to a New York Times article.

Report: Federal Agencies Not Listening to Inspectors General

March 5, 2013

Nearly 17,000 recommendations from in-house government watchdogs that could save $67 billion are not being fully implemented, according to a new House report.

Afghanistan and Nukes to be Protected from Sequestration

March 4, 2013

The sequestration cuts will be felt in nearly all areas of government, but the Pentgaon says they will protect funds used to maintain the U.S. nuclear arsenal and to continue the draw down from Afghanistan.

When Acquisition Mistakes Hurt Defense

March 1, 2013

The U.S. Air Force is buying 20 light support planes for the Afghan air force, but because of acquisition mistakes by the U.S. the planes may arrive after U.S. Air Force trainers have left the country.

Obama Memo Threatens Whistleblower Protections

February 28, 2013

In a January memo, President Obama asked for new rules for designating federal workers as “national security sensitive,” which would make them easier to fire and could severely hurt whistleblower protections, according to a Bloomberg article.

Conservatives, Progressives Unite on Call for Congress to Find Savings at the Pentagon

February 27, 2013

POGO and several leading advocacy groups from across the political spectrum released a joint letter today telling President Obama and Congress that whether automatic spending cuts take effect this week or not, there is still an urgent need to reduce the Pentagon’s bloated budget.

Why the F-35 Lightning Can't Fly in Lightning, Yet

February 27, 2013

Lt. General Chris Bogdan talks about how concurrency, where a jet or other weapons are built while still being designed, has led to the F-35 Lightning being vulnerable to lightning strikes.

Advocates Fight Oil Companies on Transparency

February 26, 2013

Major oil companies should stop fighting transparency laws that force extractive industries to disclose payments to governments, said Dominic Eagleton of Global Witness in an op-ed in The Huffington Post.

New Movie Investigates the War on Whistleblowers

February 25, 2013

Brave New Films has released a trailer for their latest movie War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State. T

The Pentagon Can Take the Cut

February 25, 2013

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been making the rounds in Washington to try to avert the cuts from sequestration, but many defense experts think their warnings are overblown and the Pentagon can adapt to a smaller budget.

How the F-35 Became Too Big to Kill

February 22, 2013

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is 70 percent over its initial budget and seven years behind schedule, but it’s in no danger of being cut.

Pentagon Slams Sequestration, Gives F-22 Another $6.9 Billion Same Day

February 21, 2013

On Wednesday, Pentagon officials took to news programs to emphasize the consequences of sequestration. On the same day the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin an additional $6.9 billion for “F-22 modernization,” according to an article in TIME’s Battleland.

How Did the Pentagon Budget Get This Bad?

February 20, 2013

While the President is focusing on countering cyber-attacks and away from large-scale ground invasions, the Pentagon is still buying hundreds of billions of dollars in new weapons for old wars.

Justice Dept. to Use the G Word with Big Banks?

February 19, 2013

Until now, the prosecution model for big banks involved in the financial crisis and subsequent scandals has been to settle for large sums with no admission of guilt, but now that strategy may be changing.

Bill Moyers Praises POGO Report on the SEC’s Revolving Door

February 19, 2013

Bill Moyers lamented the revolving door between financial regulators and Wall Street while praising the Project On Government Oversight’s recent report on the subject in a new broadcast essay.

The Most Expensive Weapon Ever Built

February 14, 2013

Time magazine has a great, and lengthy, story about the F-35 fighter jet being developed for the Air Force, Navy and Marines.

IG Blasts Air Force's F-22 Crash Report as Sloppy

February 13, 2013

The Air Force’s investigation into the fatal 2010 crash of an F-22 fighter jet was sloppy and their conclusions were “not supported by the facts,” according to a new report by the Department of Defense Inspector General.

POGO's Staff Scientist Says New Doctor Rules Promote Transparency

February 12, 2013

New disclosure rules for doctors on advisory panels for the Food and Drug Administration are meant to increase transparency without discouraging doctors from serving on the panels, according to Ned Feder, POGO's staff scientist.

State Department Still Without Internal Watchdog

February 12, 2013

Effective oversight requires a strong inspector general, and the State Department leads a group of eight agencies that are without a permanent IG.

SEC’s Revolving Door Blurs Line Between Regulator and Industry

February 11, 2013

A POGO study of thousands of government records found that former staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission routinely went to work for major financial firms.

CNBC Looks at POGO's New SEC Report

February 11, 2013

CNBC reported today on our new report detailing the effects of the revolving door on regulation at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Troops to Get Smaller Raise Than Last Year Under New Proposal

February 8, 2013

The Pentagon is planning to increase the pay for members of the uniformed military by 1 percent for 2014, down from the 1.7 percent increase for 2013, according to an article in Government Executive.

Rating Agency Reforms Still Slow After Financial Crisis

February 7, 2013

A Justice Department lawsuit against a major rating agency does not address the fundamental problems with the industry, according to critics.

December 16, 2014

Lobbyists For Foreign Interests May Be Violating U.S. Law [REPORT]

ValueWalk | By Michelle Jones