About POGO

Nick Schwellenbach

Director of Investigations

Why Military Whistleblowers Fear Reprisal: When Taking Adverse Personnel Actions, the Chain of Command Often Gets a Pass

October 20, 2011

Each year, hundreds of uniformed members of the military send official complaints to Inspectors General (IGs) within the Department of Defense (DoD) saying that they are the targets of reprisal. Most do not have their claims of reprisal substantiated.

Leaked Audit: Boeing Overcharged Army Up to 177,000 Percent on Helicopter Spare Parts

June 28, 2011

$644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

POGO Letter to the U.S. Air Force's Suspension and Debarment official on the Army's request for action against Airtech International Inc.

July 22, 2008

My organization, the Project On Government Oversight, revealed in May that the Army Criminal Investigation Command sent your office a letter in 2006 recommending debarment or some other action against Airtech International, Inc., for the company’s substantiated and decade-long pattern of bribery, kickbacks and fraud.

POGO Letter to the Boeing Company regarding Airtech International Inc.'s product substitution

July 22, 2008

My organization, the Project On Government Oversight, revealed in May that The Boeing Company, along with other aerospace manufacturers, was being supplied with bogus materials by a composite materials supplier called Airtech International, Inc.

Testimony of POGO's Nick Schwellenbach on "Examining the Executive Branch Reform Act of 2007 and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007"

February 13, 2007

Thank you for inviting me to testify today in support of the "Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007." Whistleblower protections need to be greatly improved if the Executive Branch—regardless of who is in the White House—is to be held accountable by the Legislative Branch, as our nation's founders intended.

Biologist Reinforces POGO’s Letter Concerning CDC Investigations

August 12, 2005

I write this letter as a concerned citizen and in reference to the letter dated July 6, 2005 , titled “POGO letter to Congress raising concerns with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigative ability"1, signed by Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project on Government Oversight (POGO).

Pentagon Intensifies Efforts to Plug Leaks, Catch Leakers

October 18, 2012

Defense Secretary outlines plan to detect leaks of classified information and pursue leakers.

Blaming Pilots, Instead of the Machine

December 20, 2011

Are military accident investigation reports objective or are the conclusions of some reports being bent to blame pilots rather than flaws with expensive, highly controversial weapons systems?

Robert MacLean: Homeland Security Whistleblower

August 10, 2011

At the end of July 2011, Robert MacLean learned the outcome of over a year of waiting. He was waiting on a second ruling from the relatively obscure and awkwardly named Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB, or the “Board”). The three-member Board in Washington, DC, is an administrative quasi-court that handles federal government whistleblower claims of retaliation, among other things. MacLean is a former federal air marshal who blew the whistle in July 2003 on his agency, the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA. After lengthy reviews by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and two by this Board, the first one in 2009, MacLean lost his claim that he was retaliated against.

Is the F-22 Too Difficult to Use? Big Questions Surround Raptor's Grounding

July 12, 2011

Many pixels have been spilled on the recent grounding of the F-22 Raptor fleet, problems with the plane's oxygen systems, and the possible role of the oxygen system in the November 2010 crash of an F-22 in Alaska and death of its pilot. Here's a quick roundup of coverage of the latest problems facing this very expensive plane, followed by some questions that I think need to be answered.

Do Non-Disclosure Agreements Trump Protected Whistleblower Disclosures? Depends on Verb Tense, Appeals Court Says

June 27, 2011

On December 21, 2006, Robert Emmel signed a non-disclosure agreement with News America Marketing In-Store, LLC. This LLC is a part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation that does in-store marketing, such as "coupon and promotion dispensers, in-store video, at-shelf signage and floor and shopping cart advertising."

Documents Reveal Details of Alleged Labor Trafficking by KBR Subcontractor

June 14, 2011

In December 2008, South Asian workers staged a protest on the outskirts of Baghdad. The reason: Up to 1,000 of them had been confined in a windowless warehouse without money or work for as long as three months.

DoD Identifies 14 "Should-Cost" and "Will-Cost" Demonstration Programs

April 28, 2011

The Air Force, Army, and Navy have identified fourteen weapons programs where they will employ two management techniques to prevent massive cost overruns, according to an April 22 Department of Defense (DoD) memo obtained by Inside Defense.com.

Senator Pushes DCAA To Complete More Incurred Cost Audits

February 3, 2011

Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) prodded the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) to finish more incurred cost audits and decrease its backlog at the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Contract Oversight hearing on Tuesday.

Energy Secretary Removes Linton Brooks

January 4, 2007

The head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous branch of the Energy Department responsible for the nuclear weapons complex, is stepping down at the end of the month due to lapses within the complex. Ambassador Linton Brooks took charge of NNSA in 2002.

Brief PIDB Update

November 13, 2006

Los Alamos Safety Down the Tubes

September 12, 2006

Who's the Secret Senator?

August 29, 2006

SBX Assessment

August 28, 2006

Air Marshals Score Victories

August 25, 2006

Aviation Security Whac-A-Mole

August 24, 2006

What's New on POGO.ORG?

August 14, 2006

The GAO's Nuke Smugglin'

July 7, 2006

TSA Trying to Protect Its "Dubious Secrets"

July 6, 2006

Many 9/11 victim families have set their sights on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) dubious Sensitive Security Information (SSI) secrecy marking. One of a number of so-called "sensitive but unclassified" (SBU) information designations, SSI has been abused by TSA to keep information from the public.

Safavian Found Guilty

June 20, 2006

Lewis Lied

June 12, 2006

Battling SEC Secrecy

May 29, 2006

The Black Budget Bonanza

May 25, 2006

No More Telethons?

May 11, 2006

Nine Fingers Disclosed

May 10, 2006

Just Flu It

November 4, 2005

The "Generic" Country

October 24, 2005

Katrina Contracts

September 14, 2005