Daniel Van SchootenTweet
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.
- Co-authored POGO’s report, “At Least One-Third of Attorney General Nominee’s Top Donors Have Matters Involving the Department of Justice,” which revealed the lack of clear ethics policies for when Attorney Generals, at both the federal and state levels.
- Co-authored an investigatory article, “Trump's Ethics Pledge Is Paper-Thin,” which highlighted the lack of ethics waivers and written recusals based on the results of over 50 FOIA requests.
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.
Federal agencies provided few details on how they are addressing political appointees' potential conflicts of interest during the Trump administration.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
A new law lets contractors hire their own auditors, despite history that shows it can come at the expense of independent oversight.
Congressional investigations can bring to light important information that would have been left unaddressed by a criminal investigation.
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.
Whistleblower protections for federal contractors have been inconsistently implemented, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
An Inspector General report has found that the TSA is abusing its pseudo-classification system and “cannot be trusted to administer the program.”
J. Kirk McGill, a highly qualified auditor, was forced out of the Defense Contract Audit Agency after refusing to sign a whitewashed audit.
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.
The Project On Government Oversight, Government Accountability Project, Senior Executives Association, and Public Citizen oppose a Senate measure that could harm Veterans Affairs whistleblowers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amid significant outcry, the FBI has responded by removing the controversial ID requirement from the newest version of its web-based FOIA system.
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.
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.
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.
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?
There is an ongoing culture of retaliation and fear across the VA, and those responsible for it are often going unpunished.