About POGO

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Daniel Van Schooten

Researcher

dvanschooten@pogo.org |

Year Started At POGO: 2015

Areas of expertise: Whistleblower Intake

Daniel Van Schooten is the initial point of contact for whistleblowers who contact POGO, and also performs general research support for the POGO team. In addition, he regularly contributes to the POGO blog and assists the POGO tech team. He earned a B.A. in International Relations and Economics at Wheaton College.

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.

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.

New York Times Reveals a Revolving Door in Housing Finance

December 9, 2015

The revolving door in housing finance begs the question of whether some officials ever stop working for banks.

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?

Newsweek and Washington Post Pick Up POGO’s F-35B Story

October 5, 2015

POGO's original reporting on the F-35B's operational readiness status has been picked up by Newsweek and The Washington Post.

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.

February 21, 2017

The case for Jeff Sessions’ recusal from DOJ Russia investigations

Reuters | By Alison Frankel