About POGO

Photo of Iulia Gheorghiu

Iulia Gheorghiu

Beth Daley Impact Fellow

igheorghiu@pogo.org |

Iulia Gheorghiu is a recent graduate of American University with a dual degree from the School of Communication and the Kogod School of Business. Before joining POGO, Iulia interned for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press where she participated in Sunshine Week and became interested in government transparency issues on a local and national scale.

As a journalist, she was a congressional correspondent for the Southwest Colorado newspaper, Durango Herald, and wrote for the American University-owned public media paper, Current.

Clock is Ticking on the 114th Congress

December 9, 2016

POGO's Policy Counsel, Liz Hempowicz, joins our latest podcast to talk about two good government wins included in the defense budget bill, for information access and whistleblower protections, as well as our hopes for the Inspector General Empowerment Act.

How to Buy Congress

October 7, 2016

In our new podcast, Congressional Fellows (employees who are embedded on Congressional staffs) are collecting salaries from outside groups, including industry. It sounds like every lobbyist's fantasy. But it's not fiction - it's a reality on Capitol Hill.

This Land is Our Land

September 23, 2016

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) raises this important issue in our latest podcast. POGO investigator Mia Steinle talks about the woefully outdated royalty programs for the mining and drilling of natural resources on public lands.

Wait, the Pentagon Wants Even More Secrecy?

September 16, 2016

If we don't get Congress to change this secrecy clause in the NDAA, we may be stuck with a Pentagon that cannot be held accountable for wasting taxpayer money. Listen to this 9 minute podcast.

Campaign 2016: What's a Good Government Advocate to Do?

September 9, 2016

Wanna hear POGO's take on Trump's taxes and Hillary's emails?

Vacancies Leave Whistleblowers Vulnerable

March 23, 2017

To bolster federal oversight and ensure the protection of whistleblowers, President Donald Trump needs to fill positions in Offices of Inspectors General, the Office of Special Counsel, and the Merit Systems Protection Board.

POGO Video: Explaining the Foreign Lobbying Revolving Door

February 17, 2017

POGO Investigator Lydia Dennett explains the loopholes in the Foreign Agents Registration Act and the Lobbying Disclosure Act that could allow lobbying agents with foreign clients to get around President Trump's foreign lobbying ban.

Bipartisan Leadership of House Oversight Committee Urges Punishment of Conway

February 10, 2017

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings asked that the Office of Government Ethics recommend disciplinary action against Kellyanne Conway after her public endorsement of the Ivanka Trump brand. Their joint letter is a promising show of bipartisan Congressional oversight.

Open Government Comes to CIA: Agency Posts Millions of Declassified Docs

January 18, 2017

The Central Intelligence Agency made available online a searchable database containing millions of declassified pages in response to a lawsuit by MuckRock.

POGO Reports Potential for Conflicts of Interest in Attorney General Nominee

January 10, 2017

A new Project On Government Oversight report this week highlights the potential conflicts of interest that might arise if Senator Jeff Sessions is confirmed to be Attorney General of the United States and is called upon to investigate or prosecute any of his major donors. To prevent actual or apparent conflicts of interest, Senator Sessions should recuse himself from work involving previous financial supporters.

Whistleblowing Linked to Decrease in Financial Misconduct

December 21, 2016

New research from the University of Iowa shows a sharp reduction in incidents of financial misconduct at companies following whistleblowing investigations, as reported by The New York Times.

Judge Sides with Marine in Information-Mishandling Case

December 14, 2016

A federal judge determined that a board of inquiry that had initially recommended Marine Corps Major Jason Brezler’s discharge for mishandling classified information in 2013 had unjustly withheld documents that would have been key to his defense.

POTUS Can’t Overlook Pitfalls of 21st Century Cures Act

December 8, 2016

The 21st Century Cures Act just passed by Congress greatly deregulates the drug approval process, to the detriment of patients and anyone who will be paying for health care.

Taxpayer-Funded Research Finally Available to Public

October 21, 2016

A new website is making the Congressional Research Service’s taxpayer-funded reports available to the public for the first time, thanks to the efforts of good government groups that have been pursuing their public release for over 20 years.

Congress Needs More Transparency to Reduce Industry Influence

October 21, 2016

Industries can buy influence in Congress legally by funding Congressional fellowships. A POGO investigation finds there is very little oversight of Congressional fellowship programs on the Senate side and none on the House side.

Transparency Efforts Expand in Public Natural Resource Management

October 12, 2016

The United States joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in 2011, but it needs to continue prioritizing transparency, especially regarding natural gas. POGO recently published the top five public natural resource reforms accomplished in the past eight years and the top five recommendations for the current and future administration.

Taxpayers Closer to Getting Fair Return on Public Natural Resources

October 7, 2016

The troubled Royalty-In-Kind program, which benefitted corporations that were extracting resources from public lands, was successfully terminated. But the job’s not done: the Bureau of Land Management needs to prioritize getting taxpayers a fair return on the use of renewable energies on federal lands. POGO recently published the top five public natural resource reforms accomplished in the past eight years and the top five recommendations for the current and future administration.

Intelligence Community Encouraging Speaking Truth to Power

September 26, 2016

In a new initiative to incentivize certain kinds of whistleblowing, the U.S. intelligence community announced a new awards program for reporting wrongdoing through appropriate channels. This commitment to encouraging whistleblowing is much welcomed after the IC’s bad history of whistleblower reprisal.

LISTEN: The Case against Unlimited Pentagon Spending

September 12, 2016

POGO’s Dan Grazier explains the problems with the current bloated Pentagon budget on the Steele & Ungar show following the comments of presidential candidate Donald Trump about ending the sequester on defense spending.

POGO Critical of Pentagon Watchdog’s Handling of Whistleblowers

September 8, 2016

The director of POGO’s military reform project testified about the inadequate protections for whistleblowers who come forward to report misconduct at the Pentagon. Mandy Smithberger’s testimony called on the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General to restore the integrity of the office by implementing POGO’s recommendations

Halt DHS Procurement while Private Detention Centers Evaluated

September 1, 2016

The Project On Government Oversight asks that the Department of Homeland Security immediately halt long-term contract renewals and solicitations for detention centers while the Homeland Security Advisory Board evaluates whether the immigration detention operations conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement should change.

POGO’s 2016 Summer Reading List

August 18, 2016

Summer is coming to an end but there’s still time to reenergize yourself with a book that matters! Take your pick of the latest books on nuclear policy, national security, or government oversight (or in some cases, lack thereof.)

Watchdog Launches Criminal Investigation into Gold King Mine Spill

August 4, 2016

The EPA Office of Inspector General launched a criminal investigation into the Animas River toxic spill from the Gold King Mine in Colorado. The investigation was announced nearly a year after the spill.

Erin Brockovich Takes Stand for Water Dept. Transparency

June 6, 2016

Environmental advocate Erin Brockovich urges public to demand transparency from water management agencies on local and state levels. Her rallying message follows the Flint Water Crisis and an investigation by The Guardian.

Contractors Paid Billions in Environmental Penalties

April 22, 2016

The Federal Contractor Misconduct Database reports a total of $38.7 billion paid by contractors in penalties for environmental violations.

A Good American Asks for Transparency

April 15, 2016

Whistleblowers join forces with Austrian director in documentary to increase efforts to declassify Department of Defense Inspector General’s Report.

Why is DOE Still Funding Fights against Whistleblowers?

April 14, 2016

Senator Ed Markey wrote to the Secretary of Energy seeking answers about the Department's practice of reimbursing legal costs incurred by contractors in cases where they committed illegal conduct such as discrimination or whistleblower retaliation.

POGO Urges Senate to Oppose Obama’s FDA Nominee

February 10, 2016

The Project On Government Oversight urged the Senate to oppose Dr. Robert Califf, President Obama's nominee to head of the Food and Drug Administration.

How the System Went After a War Hero

December 10, 2015

The U.S. Army treated an American hero like a criminal for speaking to a Member of Congress about the government’s dysfunctional hostage recovery program.

This Giving Tuesday, Give to POGO!

December 1, 2015

Help POGO hold the government accountable this #GivingTuesday.

Duke Reassessing Data From Clinical Trial Led By FDA Nominee Califf

November 23, 2015

The clinical trial that was the basis for FDA approval of the blood thinner Xarelto for cardiac patients used a line of testing devices that was the subject of two FDA warning letters before the trial began and an FDA recall notice after the trial ended, a new report from Project on Government Oversight (POGO) says.

POGO Talks Whistleblower Support to Senate VA Committee

November 19, 2015

POGO testified at a Senate hearing on the VA Patient Protection Act, and weighed in on the importance of whistleblower protections at the VA.

DOJ Keeps Government Blind to CIA’s Secret Prison Program

November 12, 2015

DOJ refuses to read the Senate's extensive Torture Report on CIA's counterterrorism initiatives post 9/11, advising federal employees to do the same in order to prevent claims for public access.

Congressional Transparency Caucus Drives CRS Reports Talks

October 30, 2015

Recently, a bipartisan panel from the Congressional Transparency Caucus discussed the importance of making taxpayer-funded reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) accessible to the public.

FDA’s Lax Oversight, Bad Decision-Making Leave Consumers at Risk

October 15, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) questionable oversight of a blockbuster blood thinner raises serious concerns about whether the agency is failing in its role to keep consumers safe, according to a report published today by the Project On Government Oversight.

POGO’s Center for Defense Information Names New Military Advisory Board

September 30, 2015

POGO's Center for Defense Information, one of the nation’s leading advocates for Pentagon reform, announced today it has created a new advisory board of former military officers who will help guide its mission.

Calls for SEC Chair’s Replacement Grow Louder in DC

September 15, 2015

CREDO Action, agreeing with POGO that it's time for SEC Chair Mary Jo White to go, brings its "Dump (Mary Jo) Truck" campaign to DC.

Whistleblowers Rally on Twitter for Congressional Support

August 26, 2015

A recent Twitter chat led by POGO, the Government Accountability Project, and Public Citizen began a dialogue on the need for whistleblower protections.

U.S. Spending in Afghanistan: A Credit to Oversight

August 24, 2015

With billions in U.S. tax dollars still left to be spent on reconstruction in Afghanistan, it’s critical that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction continue his oversight role.

Former CRS Researcher Calls for Public Access

August 19, 2015

Concerns about making Congressional Research Service reports public are unfounded according to former CRS employee.

Bipartisan Boot Camp Helps Congressional Staff Sharpen Oversight Skills

August 18, 2015

Current Hill staffers honed investigative skills by working in bipartisan groups at the Congressional Oversight Boot Camp, as reported by National Journal.

Groups Hold Boot Camp to Improve Congressional Oversight

August 17, 2015

POGO, the Levin Center, and The Lugar Center conducted the first Congressional Oversight Boot Camp to teach Hill staffers techniques and best practices for conducting effective bipartisan oversight.

Federal Coal Mining Program Cheats Taxpayers, Needs Reforms

July 29, 2015

Loopholes and exemptions in the rules governing companies that mine coal on public lands cheat taxpayers out of millions of dollars in revenue each year, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) told Department of Interior leadership today.

Congress, Pentagon Must Re-Evaluate F-35 in Light of Serious Deficiencies

July 28, 2015

A POGO analysis of the F-35's capabilities describes how the fighter can't perform one of its key advertised missions—a failure that POGO says should prompt Congress and the Pentagon to conduct a complete re-evaluation of the $1.4 trillion program.

POGO Twitter Chat Highlights

July 21, 2015

We've collected some of the best tweets from POGO's Twitter chat on government accountability and transparency.

10 Books You Should Be Reading This Summer

July 15, 2015

POGO's summer reading list is here! We're featuring some of the top non-fiction books published in the last year, looking at everything from high-tech threats to our democracy to deceptive political language.

‘Kill Chain’ Highlights Uncertainty in Use of Military Drones

July 15, 2015

Andrew Cockburn’s latest book, Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins, is a well-researched takedown of the U.S. drone program, which includes a look at the civilian deaths caused by drones.

Public Outcry Protects Open Gov Against Backroom Legislation

July 14, 2015

Bipartisan protest demanded the removal of anti-transparency language from Wisconsin's state budget bill.

Katz Calls for Elimination of Dark Money from Corporations

July 9, 2015

In her new book, The Influence Machine, Alyssa Katz reports on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its work to keep corporate political spending veiled from the public.

The VA’s Office of Inspector General Has No Clothes

July 2, 2015

The Veterans Affairs Inspector General tries to defend its poor performance when it should be trying to find solutions to its problems.

The Navy’s Scheme to Pay for a New Submarine Fleet

June 30, 2015

The Navy and House and Senate Armed Services Committees are scheming to find a way to pay for a new nuclear submarine fleet.

More Calls for Access to CRS’s Formal Reports

June 25, 2015

Congressional Research Service reports belong in the public domain.

U.S. Marine Capt. Dan Grazier Joins POGO to Work on Military Reform

June 22, 2015

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Grazier, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has joined the Project On Government Oversight where he will bring his on-the-ground insights to POGO’s Pentagon reform efforts.

'Democracy in the Dark' Sheds Light on Government Secrecy

June 19, 2015

F.A.O. Schwarz Jr. discussed his new book, Democracy in the Dark, and the role of secrecy in national security.