Beth Daley Impact Fellow
Year Started at POGO: 2013
Avery Kleinman is POGO’s second Beth Daley Fellow. She writes and edits content for POGO’s blog, assists in the production of podcasts and videos, drafts press releases, and promotes POGO through the strategic use of social media. Avery moved to D.C. after graduating in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication where she studied audio and video production. She also spent a year at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Avery has interned at two NPR member stations: WNYC, where she produced segments for the daily interview program The Leonard Lopate Show, and WUNC, where she worked in the News department writing stories for the web and air. She has also contributed to various online publications, including Elle and College Candy, where she wrote a weekly news column summing up the week’s events for a college-aged audience. During her time at UNC, Avery worked as a marketing specialist for the UNC School of Government, which aids and trains local government officials.
The Beth Daley Impact Fund Fellowship was created to honor the legacy of Beth Daley, a longtime POGO employee who left a lasting imprint on the organization.
A federal advisory committee is working on a proposal that would allow the U.S. to implement international transparency standards for extractive industries that drill or mine on public lands.
On Monday, environmental activist Erin Brockovich appeared on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow’s show to discuss a Supreme Court hearing, which could have devastating effects on the military families and civilians who were poisoned by contaminated drinking water at North Carolina Marine base Camp Lejeune.
After a decade investigating government waste and fraud under two presidents, Brian Miller, inspector general of the General Services Administration (GSA), announced this week that he will be retiring effective April 18.
The Unknown Known documentary brings Rumsfeld national security memos to the big screen.
An international organization working to bring greater transparency and accountability to industries that extract natural resources accepted the U.S. as a candidate for membership at a meeting of its board today in Oslo, Norway.
President Obama has pledged to declassify the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s (SSCI) headline-making report about the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) interrogation techniques.
To celebrate Sunshine Week, POGO will be giving away as a grand prize a 16 GB Kindle Fire 7" Tablet and two other people will win DVDs. Enter to win!
Open government activists, journalists and interested citizens gathered today at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum to celebrate the 16th annual National Freedom of Information Day, part of this year’s Sunshine Week.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed important legislation that will go a long way towards reforming the Freedom of Information Act.
On Wednesday, POGO's Angela Canterbury testified in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee on the wrongful surveillance of whistleblowers at the FDA.
The millions of viewers who tuned into 60 Minutes Sunday may have gotten the impression that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is ultimately necessary to maintain U.S. air superiority. Fortunately, a new video from Brave New Films tells the other side of the story.
Less than a week after posting a contract proposal online for “timely, attractive visual images” of development efforts in Afghanistan, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) canceled the request.
In response to the string of embarrassing scandals, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is opening an investigation into contracting fraud at the Navy.
Last week, the office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service released a report with an out-of-the-box suggestion that would produce $8.9 billion in new annual profits: Turning the Post Office into a bank, with savings accounts, loans and debit cards.
In a victory for communities across the country, the current version of the farm bill, which the House of Representatives passed Wednesday, lacks earlier provisions that would have kept the public in the dark about certain farming operations.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be removed because of untruthful statements he made before Congress concerning the intelligence community’s use of bulk data collection programs, six members of Congress said this week in a letter sent to President Obama.
Former Rep. Otis G. Pike, who pushed to hold intelligence agencies accountable and battled wasteful government spending during his 18 years in Congress, passed away Monday. Mr. Pike was 92.
Shortly after the POGO called for the removal of the head of the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, the Department announced that Maj. Gen. Gary S. Patton is retiring from the position and will be replaced in January 2014.
Some of POGO’s brightest minds look back on what we achieved in 2013 and our top goals for the year to come.
Congress has passed strengthened protections for military whistleblowers and victims of sexual assault against unfair retaliation which are headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
In Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street’s Largest Hedge Fund Disaster, Barbara Dreyfuss uses her investigative and analytic skills to give readers an insider look at the high-stakes, high-ego culture of Wall Street.
David Brown's new book, Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, which he co-authors with Atlantic contributing editor Marc Ambinder, reveals previously unknown government secrets and analyzes how preventing leaks became an all-out war.
A collection of 16 airplanes paid for by the U.S. Air Force is collecting dust at the Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan after being deemed nonfunctional due to consistent maintenance issues.
Four Senators have introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2014 that would strengthen protections for military whistleblowers and victims of sexual assault.
Project On Government Oversight Executive Director Danielle Brian appeared on Vermont local news this week to talk about why the Air Force’s F-35 fighter jet should not be based in the highly populated area of Burlington.
A hospital in Afghanistan that received a $750,000 investment from the Pentagon and hoped to be a model for quality, low-cost medical care is shutting down six years after it opened.
The Washington Post released an investigation reporting that massive Virginia firm MicroTechnologies has been using a little-known contracting method to rake in millions of dollars of contracts designated for small businesses from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Last week, Navy officials made their case to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the negative effects of sequestration. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) fired back at the officials, pointing out the high number of over-budget Navy projects.
Yesterday, President Obama nominated Timothy Massad, who currently works at the Treasury Department overseeing the government bailout, as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). But there is skepticism about Massad's priorities.
The USS General Ford, the first of a new fleet of Navy aircraft carriers, was christened on Saturday. The $13-billion ship is scheduled to begin service in 2016, according to DefenseNews.com, but has suffered from substantial cost overruns and schedule delays.
The Air Force’s “Big Safari” is “a secretive and shadowy organization that has been in existence for over 60 years.” Even though Big Safari hands out billions in contracts, it doesn't follow the rules like other agencies.
A report released yesterday from the Defense Department Inspector General found the director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), Steven Calvery, has been misusing his position and workers.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commissions is suffering from lack of resources, making proper industry oversight impossible, officials said last week.
Stars and Stripes reports this morning that the USS Freedom, a first-in-class littoral combat ship (LCS), is docked for repairs for the second time in three months.
A group of retired military officials is urging Congress to investigate a Marine Corps Commandant and his senior advisors who may have acted unlawfully following the release of a video showing troops urinating on corpses of Afghan insurgents.
The Washington Post discovered at least 15 taxpayer-funded reconstruction projects, worth over $1 billion combined, expected to continue past Obama’s projected Afghanistan withdrawal date.
A new database released by the Pentagon revealed that hundreds of senior defense officials requested ethics opinions as they moved from federal jobs to the private sector. A large majority, 84 percent, had a specific employer in mind, most of which were defense companies.
Countless individuals who worked near burn-pits that the military and government contractors use to dispose of waste in Iraq and Afghanistan say the fumes caused serious illnesses, but so far, little research has been done to disprove or corroborate this theory.
Air Force officials have noticed an unfortunate trend of officers forgetting to shut the blast door that protects nuclear-tipped missiles from intruders. Officers have been officially reprimanded twice this year for leaving the door open.
JP Morgan Chase is close to settling a $13 billion deal with the government over the company’s mortgage practices leading up to the financial crisis. The proposed settlement would be the largest amount of damages ever paid by a financial firm.
Multiple senior Navy officials have been arrested for running an overbilling scheme with a major Asian defense contractor in one of the biggest- and juiciest- cases of fraud to hit the U.S. Navy in years.
The government agency in charge of regulating and overseeing nuclear plants, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), was found to have extremely inconsistent numbers of violations between the country’s four regions.
A spokesperson for the Department of Defense (DoD) estimated that the government shutdown cost the Pentagon at least $600 million due to losses in productivity. That number may rise as long-term costs continue to reveal themselves.
An online database serves as a repository of Wall Street brokers’ bad behaviors, allowing the public to check for any red flags before investing, but a new report found that in the vast majority of cases, brokers who asked to have bad marks removed from their records were successful.
A July audit obtained by Bloomberg News from the Pentagon’s Inspector General (IG) found that Boeing overcharged the military as much as $16.6 million as part of a $4.4 billion CH-47F Helicopter contract from 2008.
A senior examiner has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, claiming she was let go after refusing to keep quiet about serious conflicts of interest at Goldman Sachs.
60 Minutes aired a controversial story on the Social Security disabilities benefits program, accusing it of massive fraud and corrupt mismanagement. Many were angered by the report, though, calling it unfairly one-sided.
This morning, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released a comprehensive report examining freedom of the press under the Obama administration.
Three years after the earthquake in Haiti, there remains a startling lack of transparency about where millions in U.S. recovery funds went and what exactly was accomplished.
In 2011, John Dodson blew the whistle on "Fast and Furious," a gun operation gone wrong within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Two years later, the ATF is preventing him from publishing a book about the incident.
On Saturday, Senator Partick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the Senate floor to speak about two troubling aspects of the shutdown: the crippled judiciary and decreased government transparency.
The Pentagon has stopped announcing details of contract awards during the government shutdown.
OpenTheGovernment.org has released its annual report detailing and reviewing government secrecy. Despite the Obama Administration’s purported commitment to transparency, reductions in secrecy have been slow.
As the government shutdown continues, its impact goes far beyond the furloughed federal workers.
As you probably already know, Congress ignored the pleadings of the Project On Government Oversight along with almost everyone else in the U.S. and failed to meet yesterday’s midnight deadline to avoid the debilitating government shutdown.
The second part of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill trial begins today in New Orleans after a brief summer hiatus. The culpability of government contractors BP, Halliburton, and Transocean will be investigated during the trial.
A 68-page audit of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released yesterday revealed some startling examples of wasteful spending and face-palm worthy screw-ups, like when federal agents misplaced 2.1 million cartons of cigarettes, with a retail of more than $127 million. Finders-keepers for some lucky smoker out there.
Recent allegations suggest that the inspector general in charge of investigating the 2012 Secret Service prostitution incident intentionally withheld information from his public report and delayed the release of his findings until after the 2012 election.
According to a new study reported on by The New York Times, 49 percent of hyperlinks in Supreme Court decisions no longer work.
In early 2014, the U.S. will submit its application to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a 39-country standard intended to increase the amount of information drilling and mining industries make available to the public.
Last week, Kenneth L. Wainstein was quietly named to the Public Interest Declassification Board. Wainstein is not the first person you might think of with an interest in promoting government transparency. In fact, his work experience suggests a serious conflict of interest.
In the days since a gunman killed 12 people at the Navy Yard complex in Washington, D.C., many have been questioning why–despite warning signs like gun-related arrests and mental illness–Aaron Alexis was given secret-level clearance for his job with a subcontractor to Hewlett Packard.
A survey of inspectors general (IG) released yesterday discovered that they have been significantly affected by the sequester and other budget cuts.
In a Vanity Fair feature published yesterday, Adam Ciralsky investigates the F-35 aircraft, or Joint Strike Fighter, that was meant to streamline and update the military’s fleet of planes. When Ciralsky first saw the jet he said he “didn’t know whether to genuflect or spit
The Project On Government Oversight is pleased to welcome a new member to our team: Ethan Rosenkranz, a well-traveled national security and defense expert. He’ll be working as POGO’s national security policy analyst.
In a New York Times op-ed published last week, the 9/11 commission’s co-chairs Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton argue that one of their most important proposals has still not been carried out: improved homeland security oversight.
Five years after Lehman Brothers fell and the U.S. economy collapsed in on itself, not a single Wall Street C.E.O. is in jail. In fact, none of them have even faced criminal charges.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is finally cutting down on its huge backlog of veterans’ benefits claims thanks to a new computer system meant to aid the compensation process.