About POGO

Daniel Van Schooten


dvanschooten@pogo.org |

Year Started At POGO: 2015

Areas of expertise: Whistleblower Intake, Defense Contract Auditing

Daniel Van Schooten is the initial point of contact for whistleblowers who contact POGO and investigates the oversight of government contracts, especially in the Department of Defense. He also works on issues including conflicts of interest and has contributed to POGO’s blog and letters to policymakers to increase awareness about these issues. He earned a B.A. in International Relations and Economics at Wheaton College.

POGO Highlights:

POGO Tells National Defense Authorization Act Conferees to Prioritize Troops and Taxpayers, Not Contractors

October 13, 2017

POGO sent a letter to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees urging them to prioritize proposals that will save taxpayer dollars and increase the military's effectiveness.

Trump's Ethics Pledge Is Paper-Thin

June 6, 2017

Federal agencies provided few details on how they are addressing political appointees' potential conflicts of interest during the Trump administration.

Justice Department's "Secret Law" Still Prevalent, Documents Show

March 22, 2017

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel produces binding legal opinions on important issues, many of which are secret. POGO’s analysis shows that the Obama administration did not make OLC substantially more transparent. The Trump administration could chart a new path forward.

At Least One-Third of Attorney General Nominee's Top Donors Have Matters Involving the Department Of Justice

January 9, 2017

Before taking the oath of office, Senator Sessions should commit to a process for evaluating his campaign finance record and any resulting ethical issues. He should also agree to a bright-line recusal rule and to following clear ethical standards that will avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest with previous financial supporters.

POGO Supports the Premise of “Release to All,” But Raises Concerns

December 21, 2016

POGO has a longstanding interest in the Freedom of Information Act and the proactive disclosure of government records. POGO supports the premise of “Release to All,” but has two concerns. The first relates to the proposed “Good Cause” exceptions, and the second relates to the timing of postings to the public at large.

POGO Comments on VA Rule Helping Some Camp Lejeune Victims

October 11, 2016

POGO welcomes this VA rule and the benefits it will bring to veterans contaminated at Camp Lejeune. However, we are concerned about several factors that may unnecessarily limit its impact.

Bad Actors Among Border Wall Contractors

April 17, 2018

Half of the six contractors that built border wall prototypes had questionable track records, including one contractor that the Army Corps of Engineers felt was too risky to do future business with.

Insider Threat Programs Could Chill Whistleblowing, Agency Warns

February 7, 2018

New guidance from the Office of Special Counsel warns federal agencies that non-disclosure agreements, insider threat programs, and employee monitoring programs may violate whistleblower protections.

U.S. a Haven for Global Corruption Profits, Panelists Say

January 30, 2018

Foreign corruption is a problem enabled by American laws, banks, and other institutions. U.S. journalists need to partner with peers in other countries to connect the dots.

Food Fight: Fighting for Food Safety Without a Champion

November 22, 2017

As you get ready to feast on turkey this Thanksgiving, one thing you can be thankful for is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Agency Vacancies May Impact Veterans, School Lunches, and More

November 16, 2017

Starting on November 16, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 will make life harder for government officials working in “acting” capacity, and may impact important government operations.

Senators Quote POGO Article in CIA IG Confirmation Hearing

October 19, 2017

The Project On Government Oversight’s investigative work was on full display at yesterday’s Senate confirmation hearing for Central Intelligence Agency Inspector General nominee Christopher Sharpley, who currently occupies that position in an acting capacity.

Federal Ethics Process Needs to Be Clear and Transparent

September 13, 2017

The Project On Government Oversight sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) urging it to require agencies to issue more comprehensive ethics agreements. This follows a push for more proactive disclosure of ethics waivers.

POGO Applauds New White House Policy Statement

July 13, 2017

The Trump Administration has rightly criticized several bad provisions in the House NDAA bill including funding the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, blocking Base Realignment and Closure, misusing the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, and limiting defense contract audits.

Letting Contractors Pick Their Own Auditors is a Bad Idea

June 20, 2017

A new law lets contractors hire their own auditors, despite history that shows it can come at the expense of independent oversight.

A Special Counsel Shouldn’t Keep Congress from Investigating

June 1, 2017

Congressional investigations can bring to light important information that would have been left unaddressed by a criminal investigation.

Congressional Letters to Agencies Going Unanswered

April 5, 2017

Over 100 of Congress’s letters to the Trump administration have gone unanswered. POGO urges President Trump to take Congressional oversight seriously and quickly fill vacant Congressional affairs positions.

Govt Watchdog Finds Flaws in Implementation of Contractor Whistleblower Law

March 7, 2017

Whistleblower protections for federal contractors have been inconsistently implemented, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

TSA Found to be Abusing Pseudo-Classification System (Again)

January 23, 2017

An Inspector General report has found that the TSA is abusing its pseudo-classification system and “cannot be trusted to administer the program.”

Whistleblower Alleges Culture of Intimidation at DCAA

October 21, 2016

J. Kirk McGill, a highly qualified auditor, was forced out of the Defense Contract Audit Agency after refusing to sign a whitewashed audit.

POGO Comments on VA Rule Helping Some Camp Lejeune Vets

October 13, 2016

POGO welcomes a new VA rule and the benefits it will bring to veterans affected by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. However, we are concerned about several factors that may unnecessarily limit the rule’s impact.

POGO and Others Oppose “Trojan Horse” Office for VA Whistleblowers

September 30, 2016

The Project On Government Oversight, Government Accountability Project, Senior Executives Association, and Public Citizen oppose a Senate measure that could harm Veterans Affairs whistleblowers.

After 45 Years, Deadly Silica Rule Finalized

May 19, 2016

Last month, OSHA overcame more than four decades of industry influence, bureaucratic hurdles, and political delays to finalize a rule reducing the amount of potentially lethal silica dust workers can be exposed to.

Challenge to False Claims Act Falls Flat at House Hearing

May 10, 2016

A House Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing examining possible changes to the incentive structure of the False Claims Act. Most of the potential changes consisted of either decreasing the liability of perpetrators or making it harder for whistleblowers to file lawsuits.

Yet Another Toxic Leak Found at Hanford Nuclear Site

April 22, 2016

The Hanford Site, a former nuclear weapons production facility and the world’s largest environmental cleanup project, experienced another high-profile failure over the weekend, drawing our attention to continuing management and oversight problems.

IRS Corporate Tax Recovery Suffers After Deep Budget Cuts

April 15, 2016

The government might be losing as much as $15 billion each year in unrecovered taxes as the IRS shortens the time it spends auditing large companies, according to a nonprofit that gathers and analyzes government data.

Persistent Deficiencies in Compensation for Nuclear Workers

March 28, 2016

A recent GAO report highlights progress, but also problems, in the implementation of a program that compensates workers who became sick as a result of producing and testing nuclear weapons.

DHS Took 9 Years to Reject FOIA Request for Katrina Records

March 18, 2016

After a delay of over nine years, POGO finally received a response to a 2006 FOIA request regarding a potential conflict of interest when four massive sole-sourced contracts were awarded without any objective evaluation criteria.

VA Inspector General Confronted over Feeble Investigations

March 14, 2016

In a letter to the President, Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner put the VA's Office of the Inspector General in the spotlight over how it failed to fully investigate allegations of secret wait lists for mental health patients.

FBI Improves eFOIA by Dropping ID Requirement

March 3, 2016

Amid significant outcry, the FBI has responded by removing the controversial ID requirement from the newest version of its web-based FOIA system.

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back as FBI Launches “eFOIA”

December 7, 2015

The FBI has created a new online portal for FOIA requests. Unfortunately, the potential benefits of the system are overshadowed by arbitrary and unnecessary restrictions to submitting the FOIA requests.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: There are Still No Good Options for Intelligence Community Whistleblowers

November 24, 2015

Serious and systemic problems continue to exist in the intelligence community's accountability system. Current laws and policies are nowhere near sufficient, as shown by a recent report by the PEN America Center.

U.S. Embraces Conditional Aid for Afghanistan

October 16, 2015

Beginning to impose conditions on our aid to Afghanistan may help incentivize systemic changes within the Afghan government, especially in the areas of sexual abuse prevention and anti-corruption.

Secret Service Investigation Used to Identify Whistleblowers

October 6, 2015

The DHS Office of the Inspector General has allowed officials from the agency being investigated to participate in the inquiry. Is it any surprise that the inquiry is now being used to identify whistleblowers?

VA Whistleblowers Testify at Senate Hearing

September 29, 2015

There is an ongoing culture of retaliation and fear across the VA, and those responsible for it are often going unpunished.

April 18, 2018

The Companies Vying to Build the Border Wall Seem Shady as Hell

Splinter | By Jorge Rivas

February 8, 2018

U.S. Warns Agencies Over Whistleblower Rights

The Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Blog | By Henry Cutter

June 22, 2017

Should DCAA Hand Certain Audits to Commercial Firms?

Government Executive | By Charles S. Clark

February 21, 2017

The case for Jeff Sessions’ recusal from DOJ Russia investigations

Reuters | By Alison Frankel