About POGO

Photograph of Elizabeth

Elizabeth "Liz" Hempowicz

Public Policy Associate

ehempowicz@pogo.org |

Area of expertise: Advocacy, Freedom of Information Act, Government Accountability, Whistleblower Protections

Elizabeth Hempowicz is POGO’s Public Policy Associate. She develops public policy recommendations related to POGO’s program areas, and works to further those recommendations on Capitol Hill. She also participates in various coalitions, representing POGO’s public policy concerns. Before coming to POGO, Liz interned with the Center for Effective Government, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and the Constitution Project. She earned her J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2014, where she served as the Managing Editor of the Legislation and Policy Brief. She earned a B.A. in International Political Economy and Diplomacy at the University of Bridgeport in 2010.

POGO's 2015 Baker’s Dozen of Suggested Congressional Oversight Priorities and Legislative Reforms

February 11, 2015

Implementing the following recommendations will help to the country achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical government—one that is truly responsive to the needs of its citizens.

SASC Finally Reports Breakdown of Vote to Close NDAA

May 27, 2015

With little fanfare, the Senate Armed Services Committee finally released its NDAA report—and with it, the rulebreaking roll call vote from April 23, 2015. A month after the vote was held.

Senate Staff, Not Senators, Decided to Close the NDAA

May 19, 2015

The secretive Senate Armed Services Committee vote to hold debate on the National Defense Authorization Act in a closed session broke more rules than originally thought.

Congress Still Playing Keep-Away with CRS Reports

May 14, 2015

The House Appropriations Committee has decided to maintain a ban on the Congressional Research Service’s ability to publish its reports, holding tight to symbolic congressional control of this information.

Social Media Campaign Prompts Senate Action

May 12, 2015

Newly released FOIA documents show that a social media campaign about FOIA legislation caught the attention of Capitol Hill staffers and helped move the bill through the Senate last Congress.

We Need Your Help to Open the Defense Budget

May 7, 2015

We only have a few days left to persuade the Senate Armed Services Committee to support public hearings on the more than $600 billion Pentagon budget.

Senate Committee—Breaking Rules and Not Giving Names

May 6, 2015

Not only does the Senate Armed Services Committee want to debate their behemoth authorization bill in secret, they want to do so by disregarding their own committee rules.

Petraeus Sentence Adds Insult to Injury for Whistleblowers

April 24, 2015

The final turn in Petraeus’s case—his sentence—would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting to the national security whistleblowers who face decades in prison for leaking classified information in order to stop our government from acting illegally or unconstitutionally, in a way that endangers American lives.

SASC Votes Early and in the Dark on Opening NDAA

April 23, 2015

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted to keep this year’s National Defense Authorization Act markup behind closed doors.

Time For Action - Tell Senators to Open the Pentagon's Budget

April 22, 2015

The Senate Armed Services Committee will discuss whether their upcoming markups on the massive Pentagon budget should be done in public – something that the House does in the open but their Senate counterparts have historically refused to do.

Attempting to Put the Revolving Door Out of Service

April 17, 2015

Freshman Representative introduces toughest anti-revolving door legislation yet, targeting his colleagues that go from elected office to lobbying.

Alarming Flip-Flop on Whistleblowers from Senator Harry Reid

March 31, 2015

So close to his retirement, Senator Harry Reid has displayed a confusing and alarming change of heart towards whistleblowers, recently calling those who alleged he was involved in political wrongdoing "a bunch of whiners."

Other Areas that Could Use a Little Sun

March 30, 2015

Although Sunshine Week 2015 is over, there are still so many areas of government that would benefit from increased transparency and openness.

SANE Act Reintroduced; Would Save Taxpayers Tens of Billions

March 23, 2015

The reintroduced SANE Act, if passed, would save taxpayers an estimated $100 billion dollars over the next 10 years, in part by implementing reforms that POGO has been advocating for years.

The Senate Should Let the Sun Shine on the NDAA

March 20, 2015

Holding debates and markups in secret is the antithesis of open government, and the Senate Armed Services Committee should consider opening up its doors to the public.

Four Steps to Increase Government Transparency

March 16, 2015

This Sunshine Week, the Project On Government Oversight joins over 20 other organizations in asking the White House to get actively involved in the fight for openness.

Air Force General Should be Held Accountable

February 5, 2015

The Project On Government Oversight was joined by a group of concerned organizations and individuals in writing Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to express our concern about Maj. Gen. James Posts' statement and the implications it has on military whistleblowers.

POGO to FDA on Conflicts of Interest: Disclose Them!

January 20, 2015

POGO once again reaches out to the FDA to ask the agency to make public any potential financial conflicts of interests of its advisers.

POGO to Launch Congressional Subpoena Rule Database

January 16, 2015

POGO’s Congressional Oversight Initiative has begun to create an online database of each committee's and subcommittee’s subpoena and deposition rules, and is reaching out to congressional staff for opinions on how these rules help or hinder bipartisan cooperation and effective oversight.

The Time is Ripe for New Rules on Congressional Oversight

December 18, 2014

Congressional oversight of national security issues has not inspired much confidence recently; however, the new House has a chance to adopt new procedural rules and improve its ability to carry out meaningful oversight.

Last Minute Frenzy Around FOIA and Its Disappointing End

December 16, 2014

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed Freedom of Information Act reform laws in this past year, yet the 113th Congress ended without sending any FOIA legislation to the President. How last minute lobbying quietly killed widely supported bipartisan FOIA reform.

FOIA Reform Looking Possible in Lame Duck Congress

December 4, 2014

With one month left in the 113th Congress, FOIA reform looks more promising than ever. POGO is hopeful that the Senate will be able to move S. 2520 fast enough to see the significant reform passed into law before the new year.

Awaiting Answers from DOE IG on Whistleblower’s Accusations

November 21, 2014

The Department of Energy's Inspector General has yet to deliver answers about the firing of whistleblower Dr. James Doyle and the underlying ambiguous classification procedures used by DOE and its contractors.

Last Week in FOIA—Exploring Solutions to Today’s Problems

November 6, 2014

Last week was a busy one for FOIA advocates, and POGO offers a short roundup of some of the events that took place.

In Defense of National Security Whistleblowers

September 26, 2014

In a recent Harvard Law & Policy Review article, Yochai Benkler, law professor and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, introduced the idea of a “public accountability defense,” especially for national security whistleblowers.

DOE Handling of Whistleblower Case Leaves Much To Be Desired

September 19, 2014

The Department of Energy Inspector General will investigate Dr. James Doyle's termination for any impropriety from DOE.

POGO Joins in Asking FCC to Reform Radio Political Ad Info

August 29, 2014

POGO joins 10 other groups asking the FCC to require radio stations to post political ad spending information to an online database.

March 12, 2015

Whistleblowers and the prosecution loophole

The Hill | By Shanna Devine and Liz Hempowicz

February 19, 2015

5 Government Reforms That Could Save Billions

The Fiscal Times | By Brianna Ehley