About POGO

Scott H. Amey, J.D.

General Counsel

scott@pogo.org |

Year Started At POGO: 1993 & then 2003

PGP Fingerprint: CCCC 4C9C FDED E053 CB8F 71A7 E21E 0362 0C20 EBB7

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Areas of expertise: Contract Oversight, Contractor Responsibility, the Revolving Door and Conflicts of Interest, Government Transparency

Scott Amey is POGO’s general counsel and directs contract oversight investigations, including reviews of federal spending on goods and services, the responsibility of top federal contractors, and conflicts-of-interest and ethics concerns that have led to questionable contract awards. Scott testifies before Congress and federal agency panels, submits public comments on proposed regulations, educates the public by working with the media, and publishes reports, alerts, and blogs on contracting and openness issues. Scott rejoined the staff in 2003, and previously worked at POGO in the mid-1990s as a one of the organization’s most prolific investigators. Scott left POGO in 1998 to attend law school, after which he clerked for the Honorable James A. Kenney, III, at the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland from 2001-2003. Amey received a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2001, and a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993. Scott is licensed to practice law in Maryland. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CNBC, ABC, and NPR, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, and USA Today, among others, and often provides background information and leads to the media.

POGO to Defense Bill Conferees: Increase Accountability and Strengthen Pentagon Spending Oversight

July 2, 2018

In a letter to conferees for the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act POGO urged members of Congress to beware gimmicks that would hurt taxpayers and service members.

POGO Files SEC Complaint on Possible Insider Trading

June 21, 2018

POGO filed a complaint with the SEC asking it to investigate Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for possible insider trading.

POGO Urges House Armed Services Committee to Pursue Reforms to Increase Military Effectiveness and Reduce Costs

May 3, 2018

The Project On Government Oversight sent a letter commenting on reforms proposed in the Comprehensive Pentagon Bureaucracy Reform and Reduction Act and the Accelerating the Pace of Acquisitions Reform Act of 2018. While some proposals could increase oversight and reduce costs, many others would reduce the effectiveness of weapon systems, increase wasteful spending, and make it more difficult for the Department of Defense to identify and enact significant cost savings.

POGO Requests GAO Investigation into Reported Mulvaney Statements Urging Bankers to Lobby Congress

April 25, 2018

Today, POGO requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the media report that Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the director of the Office of Management and Budget, urged industry officials at an American Bankers Association conference to contact Members of Congress and lobby them to take control of the CFPB by removing its funding through the Federal Reserve. If that report is true, Mulvaney’s actions appear to violate the ban on lobbying with appropriated funds and the Antideficiency Act.

POGO Supports Improved FEMA Proposal Aiding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

December 7, 2017

Unless altered, FEMA's supersized proposal to hire a single vendor to handle all of the shipping, transportation, logistics, and delivery of disaster relief to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for the next 12 months might slow recovery efforts.

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.

Previous Ethics Investigations Cause FEMA Nominee to Withdraw

September 14, 2017

Daniel Craig was nominated to be FEMA’s Deputy Administrator. He previously served as the Director of FEMA’s Recovery Division in the early 2000s, resigning his post soon after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. He self-reported possible ethics violation, which, combined with an Inspector General investigation, caused Mr. Craig to withdraw his name from consideration for the FEMA post.

POGO Urges OGE to Require Comprehensive Appointee Ethics Agreements

September 12, 2017

The Office of Government Ethics should promote a clear written record of all appointee ethics restrictions. Generally, appointee ethics agreements only cite a one-year recusal period, which ignores any extended recusal period required pursuant to the President’s ethics pledge. In an effort to avoid confusion and prevent ethics violations, POGO urges OGE to work with appointees and agencies, detailing all applicable conflict of interest restrictions.

POGO Supports Senate Bill to Improve Charge Card Spending

July 25, 2017

Federal purchase and travel cards continue to represent a significant source of improper and fraudulent payments. While some progress has been made by federal agencies in recent years, POGO supports the Senate's effort to address the long-standing problem.

House Defense Acquisition Reform Bill Has Pluses, But Will Result in DoD Waste

June 22, 2017

Several provisions included in the Defense Acquisition Streamlining and Transparency Act (H.R. 2511) will save money and streamline operations, but other proposals such as altering DoD’s contract auditing processes and increasing the threshold for contractors to supply cost or pricing data, are a recipe for waste, fraud, and abuse.

POGO Requests that the White House Publicly Release Ethics Records

May 25, 2017

The Project on Government Oversight urged the Office of Management and Budget to withdraw its request that the Office of Government Ethics stay its data call for appointees’ ethics waivers and authorizations. POGO also requested that the Trump administration list and provide copies of ethics waivers on its “Ethics Pledge Waivers Released by the White House” website, which currently states that the “information on this page is being updated. Ethics pledge waivers will be published as they become available.”

Groups Call on Deputy AG to Promptly Appoint a Special Counsel to Handle Russia Investigation

May 10, 2017

24 groups and individuals are deeply concerned about the actions taken this week by President Trump in firing FBI Director Comey at a time when the FBI's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election is reaching a critical stage. With the integrity and credibility of the Justice Department clearly at stake, it is incumbent upon the DOJ to promptly appoint an independent Special Counsel to oversee the Russia investigation and to make all decisions about whether criminal prosecutions are warranted.

POGO Pushes Ethics Office to Reconsider Guidance on Discretionary Trusts

April 20, 2017

There are circumstances under which an eligible income beneficiary of a discretionary trust might be able to compel the trustee to make a distribution or payment, and therefore POGO urges OGE to reconsider its previous guidance which states that reporting pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208 should only occur when the beneficiary receives income during the reporting period.

POGO Requests Review of Conclusion that President Trump Isn't Violating His DC Hotel Lease

March 29, 2017

POGO joins bipartisan organizations and individuals requesting a General Services Administration Inspector General review that the Trump Old Post Office LLC is “in full compliance” with its ground lease for the Old Post Office Building. Despite an unambiguous provision preventing any "elected official" from "any share or part of the Lease, or to any benefit that may arise," GSA ruled that President Trump is in compliance with the lease because he's taken measures to ensure that funds do not flow to him.

Bipartisan Groups Support the McCaskill-Tester Bill to Post Contracts Online

March 16, 2017

The “Contractor Accountability and Transparency Act of 2017” (S. 651) introduced by Senators McCaskill and Tester will enhance transparency in the area of federal contract spending. The bi'l will expand the information available on USASpending.gov, make the contract information more accessible and readable, and help reduce Freedom of Information Act backlogs.

DOJ Should Investigate Potential Ethics Violations by White House

February 9, 2017

POGO is requesting that the Department of Justice launch an investigation into possible ethics violations by White House staff, including the recent communications of Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Assistant to the President and Director of Social Media Dan Scavino Jr. endorsing the personal business interests of Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Trump and spouse of Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner.

POGO and Bipartisan Ethics Experts in New Letter to Trump: Divest Now to Prevent Ongoing Conflicts

December 9, 2016

A group of bipartisan experts urge President-elect Donald Trump to immediately divest his businesses and place the assets and investments into a genuine blind trust.

Testimony of Scott Amey about the Burdens of Overclassification and Government Secrecy

December 7, 2016

POGO's Scott Amey testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at a hearing titled “Examining the Costs of Overclassification on Transparency and Security”. POGO's testimony highlighted ways the executive branch conceals information from Congress and the public, including overclassification, retroactive classification, and use of controlled unclassified information markings. The testimony offered seven recommendations for resolving the tension between openness and secrecy in government.

Groups Urge President-Elect Trump to Place his Business Assets and Investments into a Genuine Blind Trust

November 17, 2016

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) today joined more than a dozen ethics officials and good government groups to send a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump urging him to set up a genuine blind trust, or the equivalent, for all of his business assets and investments.

POGO Opposes Latest Commercial Item Rule that will Lead to Bad Deals

November 10, 2016

POGO opposes the Defense Department's latest attempt to alter "commercial item" contracting processes, which were imposed by Congress. Recent defense authorization laws expanded the buying of military-only items, limit DoD’s access to contractor cost or pricing information, restrict conversions when an item no longer has a commercial market, and essentially lock the government into previous commercial determinations and prices. Simply stated, Congress is forcing DoD into a worse buying position than the one that it is in.

POGO Joins 24 Groups in Urging House to Promote New System to Identify Contractors and Publish Beneficial Ownership Information

October 28, 2016

Many U.S. states rank among the easiest places in the world to form companies without revealing the identity of the people who ultimately own and control them. Anonymously-owned companies present national security threats, lower quality infrastructure and services, higher prices, wasted tax dollars and decreased trust in government. Congress should urge the executive branch to create a system that identifies beneficial owners receiving government funds to ensure that federal dollars are awarded to responsible parties.

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?

POGO Supports Defense Department Proposal to Buy Items that have a Genuine Commercial Market.

October 2, 2015

POGO support DoD's proposal to standardize commercial item buying. The proposals will assist contracting officers in obtaining needed cost or pricing data that will ensure that the government receives fair and reasonable prices.

POGO Joins Group Urging for Improvements to the Controlled Unclassified Information Proposed Rule

July 7, 2015

POGO joins group urging for improvements to the proposed regulation on Controlled Unclassified Information. Our comment expressed concerns that proposed rule could discourage legitimate information-sharing, both internally and outside the government, become a fourth level of classification, or hinder public access to government records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

POGO Letter to Conferees on the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act

June 25, 2015

In a letter to the Senate and House Armed Services Committee, POGO outlines key acquisition reform policies, wasteful defense spending in conventional and nuclear weapons and MOX, support for close air support and the A-10, and oversight over risky weapon programs like the littoral combat ship (LCS) and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Groups Urge the World Bank to Require Beneficial Ownership Information

June 8, 2015

Groups urge the World Bank to increase the transparency and accountability by requiring the disclosure and publication of the beneficial ownership information for all legal entity bidders.

POGO Joins Groups in Defending the Office of Congressional Ethics

May 29, 2015

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) has done much over the last seven years to increase the integrity and credibility of the House ethics process. That is why we are disturbed by the recent effort by former House Ethics Committee staff director Dan Schwager to blame, without any evidence, the leak of a recent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigative report on OCE.

POGO Opposes GSA Prices Paid Proposal that Would Gut the Price Reduction Clause

May 11, 2015

POGO opposes new plan to scrap pricing protection tool and rely on sales data indicating previous government prices paid. The plan would essentially lock the government into buying commercially available goods at government prices rather genuine market prices.

POGO Comments on Proposed Reforms To Pentagon Acquisitions

April 23, 2015

Reforms proposed by the House Armed Services Committee likely exacerbate the Pentagon's systemic waste and mismanagement problems.

POGO and GAP Support Allowing Contractor and Grantee Disclosures to Office of Special Counsel

March 23, 2015

POGO and GAP supports the Office of special Counsel proposed rule to allow current and former federal contractors to submit whistleblowing disclosures to challenge illegality, gross waste, gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

POGO Highlights DoD Effort to Kill Beneficial Service Contract Inventory System

November 25, 2014

There is a concerted effort by Department of Defense officials to willfully breach laws and congressional mandates to implement an improved service contract tracking system. Rather than implement an effective inventory system, as required by law, DoD is shirking its total force management responsibilities, and perpetuating billions of dollars in unnecessary service contracting costs.

POGO's Response to VA Inspector General's Subpoena for Whistleblower Records

June 9, 2014

POGO received a subpoena for all records it has received related to the failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs. POGO will not comply with the VA's demand, arguing that it violates the Constitution and will harm the underlying mission of the organization.

POGO Asks Justice Dept. to Investigate Use of Confidentiality Agreements by Federal Fund Recipients

June 5, 2014

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) requests that the Department of Justice investigate federal fund recipients using confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements that infringe current and former employees’ federal whistleblower rights in violation of the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §3730(h)), the Federal Acquisition Regulation (48 C.F.R. Subpart 3.9), and other federal whistleblower protection laws (e.g., 10 U.S.C. §2409, 41 U.S.C. §4712). POGO is concerned that companies are using these agreements to hinder governmental investigations into criminal, civil, and administrative violations on federal contracts, grants, and other federally funded programs.

POGO Urges Department of Defense IG to Broaden Its Interpretation of Contractor Whistleblower Protection Law

May 20, 2014

POGO requests that the DoD IG reconsider its narrow ruling restricting who can receive a protected disclosure from contractor employees. Despite congressional efforts to broaden the law prohibiting whistleblower reprisals, the IG is ignoring the law and making it more difficult for whistleblowers to expose waste, fraud, and abuse.

POGO Implores Government to Strengthen Zero-Tolerance Policy Against Human Trafficking in Federal Contracts

December 20, 2013

POGO wants federal contracting policy office to strengthen proposed rule to truly uphold a zero-tolerance policy against human trafficking in the contractor labor supply chain.

POGO Endorses Mark-up of Bipartisan SUSPEND Act, Reforming the Suspension and Debarment System

October 28, 2013

The Project On Government Oversight endorses the “Stop Unworthy Spending Act” of 2013 or the SUSPEND Act. The bill would create the Board of Suspension and Debarment, providing a centralized body to manage the suspension and debarment system.

POGO Highlights GAO Report and Documented DoD Failures in Hiring a Cost Efficient Workforce

October 17, 2013

On September 26, 2013, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued Human Capital: Opportunities Exist to Further Improve DoD’s Methodology for Estimating the Costs of Its Workforces (GAO-13-792).

POGO Supports Audit Expanded to Include DoD’s Compliance with the Buy American Act

September 12, 2013

On August 13, 2013, your office issued a memorandum announcing an audit of Department of Defense compliance with the Berry Amendment (Project No. D2013-D000CG-0208.000). The Project On Government Oversight supports such an audit, and would like to see it expanded to also include a review of DoD’s compliance with the Buy American Act.

Podcast: How The Intelligence World Came to Rely on Contractors

June 27, 2013

POGO's Scott Amey talks about the growing private intelligence industry that includes major federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, the former employer of Edward Snowden. Podcast with Joe Newman, Aimee Thomson, Jana Persky and Andre Francisco.

The Rise of Intelligence Contractors

June 25, 2013

POGO's General Counsel Scott Amey went on C-SPAN to discuss Edward Snowden and the rapid increase in private intelligence contractors.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on Using the Suspension and Debarment System Effectively to Avoid Risky Contractors

June 12, 2013

Since the 1990s, there have been several major shifts in federal procurement, including increased contract spending, a stretched acquisition workforce, spending on services outpacing spending on goods, and a host of acquisition reforms implemented to make spending easier. The result is that the government is sometimes doing business with risky contractors—contractors with criminal, civil, and administrative misconduct records or poor performance histories.

Feds vs. Contractors: Federal Employees Often Save Money, But an Advisory Panel is Needed to Create a Cost Comparison Model

April 15, 2013

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced a public meeting on March 5, 2013, and requested public comments on “the practice of comparing the relative cost of performance by Federal employees versus contract performance in order to identify the most cost-effective source.” POGO hopes that all of the oral and written comments will be used to create a comprehensive cost comparison model that will be used when making human capital planning decisions.

POGO Implores FAR Council to Toughen Anti-Trafficking Contracting Regulations

March 12, 2013

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following “Public Comment on Protections Against Trafficking in Persons.” 78 Fed. Reg. 9918 (February 12, 2013).

POGO Opposes Blanket Cost Accounting Standards Exemption for Commercial Item Acquisitions

January 18, 2013

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Board (b)(6) commercial item exemption proposed rule. (77 Fed. Reg. 69422, November 19, 2012). As an independent nonprofit organization committed to achieving a more accountable and transparent federal government, POGO has a longstanding interest in federal contracting issues.

Congress Being Misled About True Costs of Service Contracts

November 30, 2012

Federal agencies are misleading Congress about the true cost if hiring service contractors. Responses from OMB, DHS, and the Army show that the government is negligent in ensuring that it is hiring the most cost-efficient workforce.

BP Suspension was Needed to Protect Taxpayers

November 29, 2012

The suspension of BP from future government contracts is surprising but welcome.

President’s Executive Order on Human Trafficking Puts Contractors on Notice

September 25, 2012

The executive order that President Obama signed today will expand the scope of current anti-trafficking policies and regulations.

POGO Supports DoD Effort to Redefine Commercial Items

May 15, 2012

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) urges you to support the Department of Defense’s (DoD) legislative proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act that will result in improved oversight of billions of dollars’ worth of so-called “commercial” goods and services.

POGO's Scott Amey testimony on "Contractors: How Much Are They Costing the Government?"

March 28, 2012

I want to thank Chairman McCaskill, Ranking Member Portman, and the Subcommittee for asking the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) to submit written testimony about the important, but often ignored, issue of service contracting costs. Although there are many initiatives in place to cut federal agency spending and reduce the costs associated with the federal workforce, the cost of contractor services has escaped scrutiny. Such avoidance is extremely disturbing because the government annually spends more taxpayer dollars on contractor services than it spends on goods, over $320 billion and $210 billion in FY 2011, respectively. To put that level of spending in perspective, total contract spending was $205 billion in FY 2000, of which services accounted for $128 billion of the total.

CAS Board cedes authority -- once again.

December 5, 2011

Cost Accounting Standards: Clarification of the Application of the Exemption from CAS at 48 CFR 9903.201-1(b)(15) for Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contracts and subcontracts Awarded on the Basis of Adequate Price Competition without Submission of Cost or Pricing Data

POGO opposes false and misleading DOJ FOIA amendment

October 19, 2011

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to RIN 1105–AB27, “Revision of Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act Regulations” (76 Fed. Reg. 57940, September 19, 2011). The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) notice of proposed rulemaking would amend DOJ’s regulations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including permitting DOJ to present a false and misleading FOIA response regarding certain law enforcement records. As an independent nonprofit organization committed to achieving a more accountable and transparent federal government, POGO opposes that proposed language.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on the Intelligence Community Contractors: Are We Striking the Right Balance?

September 20, 2011

POGO recommends that intelligence community agencies, Congress, and the Committees with jurisdiction conduct assessments of intelligence community service contracts in order to gain a better understanding of the types of services procured, the total dollars awarded, the contract vehicles utilized, and contractor performance history.

Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors

September 13, 2011

Service contract award dollars have dramatically increased in recent years based on the assumption that shifting work to the private sector saves taxpayer dollars. POGO’s report compares total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest. Previous analyses have only focused on employee salaries and compensation and not federal contractor billing rates. POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates that, on average, pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the full compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services. Given that one-quarter of all discretionary spending now goes to service contractors, a reassessment of the total federal work force, with a focus on contractor billing rates, could save taxpayers billions of dollars annually.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on "Homeland Security Contracting: Does the Department Effectively Leverage Emerging Technologies?"

July 15, 2011

Many acquisition reforms were imposed prior to the large increase in federal contract spending (which exceeded $537 billion in fiscal year 2010), consolidation in the contractor community, the large-scale hiring of contractors to perform government services, and increased demands on the acquisition workforce to do more with less, which has led to waste, fraud, and abuse.

Service Contractor Inventory Proposed Rule Requires Improvements

June 20, 2011

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to FAR Case 2010-010, “Federal Acquisition Regulation; Service Contracts Reporting Requirements” (76 Fed. Reg. 22070, April 20, 2011). The proposed rule, issued by the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), seeks comments on amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (hereinafter Act).[1] The proposed rule requires service contractors for executive agencies covered by the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act of 1998, except the DoD, to submit information annually in support of agency-level inventories for service contracts.

POGO Supports Disclosure of Personal Conflict of Interest Information for Contractor Employees Performing Acquisition Functions

June 13, 2011

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to IC 9000–00XX, “Preventing Personal Conflicts of Interest for Contractor Employees Performing Acquisition Functions.” 76 Fed. Reg. 27648, May 12, 2011.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on Deficient Contractor Accountability Leaves Agencies and Taxpayers at Risk

February 28, 2011

POGO's testimony about the issue of contractor accountability, and about how past performance information and the suspension and debarment process can be used to improve contingency operations in reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

POGO's fourth reply to letters from Dr. Schatzberg and Dr. Nemeroff

December 23, 2010

Based on your most recent letters to POGO, we modified the NIH letter and blog to reflect that the timeline notes that GSK “would receive” all three drafts of the handbook and page proofs for final approval.

POGO Supports Overseas Government Contracting Accountability Modification

December 20, 2010

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Board’s proposed rule entitled “Cost Accounting Standards: Elimination of the Exemption from Cost Accounting Standards for Contracts Executed and Performed Entirely Outside the United States, Its Territories, and Possessions” (75 FR 64684, October 20, 2010).

POGO's third reply to letters from Dr. Schatzberg and Dr. Nemeroff

December 16, 2010

In response to your third letter, and after additional reviews of the numerous documents in our possession, the Project On Government Oversight (“POGO”) will not be altering its November 29, 2010, revised letter to National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) or blog entry, or issuing an apology.

POGO's second reply to letter from Dr. Schatzberg and Dr. Nemeroff

December 9, 2010

In response to your letters dated December 9, 2010, POGO has consistently applied the earlier modification to the NIH letter and the December 01, 2010, Ghostbusters at POGO blog posted on POGO’s website.

POGO's first reply to letters from Dr. Schatzberg and Dr. Nemeroff

December 8, 2010

In response to your letters and after a comprehensive internal review, the Project On Government Oversight (“POGO”) will make minor changes to the online version of its November 29, 2010, letter to National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), which expressed concerns about the integrity of federally funded research.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey before the Congressional Oversight Hearing on Treasury’s Use of Emergency Contracting Authority

September 22, 2010

POGO's Scott Amey testifies about the Treasury Department's use of Emergency Contracting Authority and its potential problems including, risky contract vehicles, inadequate competition, and a lack of transparency and accountability.

POGO Supports Effort to Stregthen Disclosure of Lobbying Contacts Within the Executive Branch

August 19, 2010

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, as announced in the June 22, 2010 Federal Register. As organizations and individuals dedicated to government accountability and civic participation, we believe that the current form needs substantial change to strengthen disclosure of lobbying contacts within the executive branch. Acting under authority granted by the Byrd Amendment (as amended by the Lobbying Disclosure Act), combined with general government operations authority, and consistent with the intent of the executive order on Ethics Commitments By Executive Branch Personnel (E.O. 13490), we believe that SF-LLL should be amended to capture all contacts that involve attempts to seek contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, loans, insurance awards, tax expenditures, or any other financial arrangements.

POGO's Public Comment Regarding Conflicts of Interest in Major Defense Acquisition Programs

July 21, 2010

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to DFARS Case 2009-D015, "Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Major Defense Acquisition Programs" (75 Fed. Reg. 20954, April 22, 2010). The proposed rule issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) seeks comments on additional requirements for organizational conflicts of interest (OCI). As an independent nonprofit organization committed to achieving a more accountable federal government, POGO supports the implementation of new standards and procedures to better detect and avoid actual or potential organizational conflicts of interest and thereby increase public confidence in defense contracting.

POGO Demands Comprehensive Contract Disclosure

July 12, 2010

POGO strongly supports the intent of the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking under FAR case 2009-004, Enhancing Contract Transparency (75 Fed. Reg. 26916, May 13, 2010). This case will amend the FAR to enable the online posting of contracts and task and delivery orders. The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) are "seeking information that will assist in determining how best to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to enable public posting of contract actions, should such posting become a requirement in the future, without compromising contractors' proprietary and confidential commercial or financial information."

The Rise of Intelligence Contractors

June 25, 2010

POGO's General Counsel Scott Amey went on C-SPAN to discuss Edward Snowden and the rapid increase in private intelligence contractors.

POGO Supports Proposal to Make Certain Labor Relations Costs Unallowable

June 14, 2010

...In this vein, POGO strongly supports the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under FAR case 2009-006, Labor Relations Costs, published at 75 Fed. Reg. 19345 (April 14, 2010). This long-overdue proposed rule amends FAR Subpart 31.205-21 to make unallowable contractor costs incurred to persuade employees with respect to unionization....

POGO Advocates for Additional Protections When Considering Work Performed by Government or Contractor Employees

June 1, 2010

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s (OFPP) “Proposed Policy Letter” clarifying work reserved for performance by federal government employees. 75 Fed. Reg. 16188 (March 31, 2010). POGO is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. We have a keen interest in government contracting matters, especially matters related to policies regarding the performance of government functions by private contractors.

POGO Requests Information on Suspensions and Debarments

May 27, 2010

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government. POGO has a keen interest in government contracting matters, especially matters related to the suspension and debarment system.

Contract Spending: Escaping the Dark Ages

May 20, 2010

In 2009, the federal government awarded more than $523 billion in federal contracts—contracts for goods, including complex weapons systems, and services.

POGO Letter Urging GSA to Improve Contractor Listings

April 22, 2010

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) uses USAspending.gov on a regular basis, and since 2008 we have used the top 100 contractor list for compiling our Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (http://www.contractormisconduct.org/), which includes criminal, civil, and administrative cases, as well as investigative findings on the top 100-plus federal contractors. Government contract data has come a long way since the days of accessing federal contracting information via the complicated Federal Procurement Data System. We are pleased that the contracting information is more timely and that USAspending.gov is user-friendly, and we hope that Version 2.0 will continue in that tradition.

POGO's FOIA Request for Contractor Responsibility Database Information

April 21, 2010

I am making this request under the Freedom Of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552. Please provide records that are maintained by an agency or for an agency by a government contractor in any format, including an electronic format.

POGO's FAPIIS Fee Waiver Request

April 21, 2010

I have included this FOIA Fee Waiver Supplement to provide a detailed account of POGO’s planned use of the requested information and to fully respond to GSA’s fee waiver criteria governed by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii) and 41 C.F.R. § 105–60.305–13.

POGO Condemns Increase of Contracting Thresholds That Will Further Reduce Oversight

April 1, 2010

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Federal Acquisition Regulation proposed rule entitled “Inflation Adjustment of Acquisition-Related Thresholds” (75 FR 5716, February 4, 2010). Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. POGO has a keen interest in government contracting matters and as a result, is concerned when more contracts become exempt from Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provisions that are designed to protect taxpayer dollars.

POGO requests clarifications to Defense regulations to ensure independent audits and timely corrections to deficiencies found in contractor business systems, including withholds

March 16, 2010

As such, one of POGO’s areas of focus is government contracting. Accordingly, we urge the DFARS Council to ensure that contractors are provided with appropriate incentives to correct deficiencies in their business systems in a timely manner including, but not limited to, withholds on interim payments.

Contractor Conflict of Interest Rule Needs Improvement

January 12, 2010

... POGO has a keen interest in government contracting matters, especially matters related to acquisition and conflicts of interest. The proposed rule provides enhanced measures to identify and prevent personal conflicts of interest when contractor employees are performing acquisition functions closely associated with inherently governmental functions. ...

POGO Concerned With Self-Policing Import Programs

December 23, 2009

In our efforts to further this mission, we want to bring to your attention two troubling self-policing programs—the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) programs—administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Inherent in this sort of self-regulation is a reduction of federal oversight of imported goods coming into the country.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on “Acquisition Deficiencies at the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs”

December 16, 2009

POGO is concerned with the government's acceptance of limited competition in contracting as well as its over-reliance on cost-reimbursement, time and material contracts, and commercial item contracts.

Federal Contractors Beware

August 21, 2009

The lack of effective government oversight over the years has been a boon to contractors and corporations, and a bane to taxpayers. Waste, fraud, and abuse in the War on Terror, Hurricane Katrina recovery, and the Wall Street meltdown have finally become so burdensome that the taxpayers—who have watched their dollars slip through their fingers—have finally screamed, “Enough is enough!” While different sectors of the public have expressed concerns in the past, now there has been a shift in the whole of the American zeitgeist. We are all demanding government accountability and oversight.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on The State of Federal Contracting Opportunities and Challenges for Strengthening Government Procurement and Acquisition Policies

June 16, 2009

Problems in today's federal contracting stem from workforce reductions but additional problems such as inadequate competition, deficient accountability, lack of transparency, and risky contracting vehicles deserve attention.

POGO seeks removal of oversight exemption for overseas contracts

May 26, 2009

Cost Accounting Standards: Exemption From Cost Accounting Standards for Contracts Executed and Performed Entirely Outside the United States, Its Territories, and Possessions – Notice of request for information

Non-Competitive Contract Documents Need Contract Database Home

March 16, 2009

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to FAC 2005–30, FAR Case 2008–003—"Public Disclosure of Justification and Approval Documents for Noncompetitive Contracts." (74 Fed. Reg. 2731 (January 15, 2009)). POGO is an independent nonprofit organization that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.

POGO Wants Public DoD Revolving Door Database

March 16, 2009

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to DFARS Case 2008-D007 – "Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Senior DoD Officials Seeking Employment With Defense Contractors." (74 Fed. Reg. 2408 (January 15, 2009)).

POGO Stumbles on Possible Revenue Sharing Violations in Traffic Data Contract

February 27, 2009

As you might recall, on October 15, 2007, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) wrote to Transportation Secretary Peters to encourage the USDOT Inspector General to investigate the administration of the federal Transportation Technology Innovation and Demonstration (TTID) program.

POGO's Scott Amey Testifies on Hill about Suspension and Debarment System Failures

February 26, 2009

POGO remains concerned with the award of taxpayer dollars to contractors with long rap sheets and urges this Committee to think big when creating a new and improved suspension and debarment database.

POGO Urges President Obama to Provide Public Access to Contracting and Ethics Databases

January 29, 2009

We would like to extend our congratulations on your assumption of office as President of the United States. We would also like to take this opportunity to reintroduce our organization to you and share our suggestions regarding two laws creating government databases designed to reduce fraud and waste in federal government spending.

POGO letter supporting the nomination of George Mulley from the NRC Office of Inspector General for the NRC’s Edward McGaffigan Jr. Public Service Award

September 29, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) enthusiastically endorses Mr. George Mulley for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Edward McGaffigan Jr. Public Service Award.

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on "Waste, Abuse, & Mismanagement: Calculating the Cost of DHS Failed Contracts"

September 17, 2008

For years, reports have exposed specific contracting missteps in individual cases of waste, fraud, and abuse. But the findings and recommendations from the individual cases are applicable to the larger systemic problems with the Department of Homeland Security's contracting laws and regulations.

POGO supports legislative fix to provide University of California employees the same whistleblower protections as other state employees

August 12, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) commends your legislative efforts through SB 1199 to provide University of California (UC) employees the same whistleblower protections as other state employees.

DOT IG Should Conduct Comprehensive Audit of Traffic Contract

July 24, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is pleased that your office is conducting an audit of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Transportation Technology Innovation and Demonstration (TTID) program at the request of Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Anthony Weiner.

POGO urges the DOD IG to investigate CIRCUITS and an apparent employee retaliation action

July 23, 2008

Since 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit organization that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.

Stronger Contractor Organizational Conflicts of Interest Regulations Needed

July 18, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to FAR Case 2007-018, "Organizational Conflicts of Interest" (73 Fed. Reg. 34686, June 18, 2008).

Strong, Consistent Federal Contractor Conflict of Interest Regulations Needed

July 17, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to FAR Case 2007-017–"Service Contractor Employee Personal Conflicts of Interest" (73 Fed. Reg. 34600, June 17, 2008).

POGO's 2nd public comment for improved contractor misconduct disclosure

July 15, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to FAR Case 2007-006—“Contractor Compliance Program and Integrity Reporting (2nd Proposed Rule).” (73 Fed. Reg. 28407 (May 16, 2008).)

POGO Urges Navy to Study Utility Cost Program

July 7, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit organization that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government.

POGO Proposes Additional Improvements To Ensure That Contractors Have A Satisfactory Performance Record

June 2, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to FAR Case 2006-022—“Contractor Performance Information” (73 Fed. Reg. 17945 (April 2, 2008)).

POGO supports limiting length of noncompetitive contracts in “unusual and compelling urgency” circumstances

March 31, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment to FAR Case 2007-008—Limiting Length of Noncompetitive Contracts in “Unusual and Compelling Urgency” Circumstances. (73 Fed. Reg. 5784 (January 31, 2008)).

Testimony of POGO's Scott Amey on the Status of Contracting Reform

February 27, 2008

POGO has been asked to present its views on the recommendations made by the Acquisition Advisory Panel, as well as on the proposals made in H.R. 3033 (the “Contractors and Federal Spending Accountability Act of 2007”), H.R. 4881 (the “Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2007”), and H.R. 3928 (the “Government Contractor Accountability Act of 2007”).

POGO makes comment on Contractor Compliance Program and Integrity Reporting

January 14, 2008

POGO supports contractor compliance program and integrity reporting, but the proposed rule’s mandatory reporting requirement must be clarified and expanded to require contractors to disclose a broader array of unethical conduct.

Defense Lobbying Ban Might Drain the Pentagon Swamp

March 12, 2018

The FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act prohibits lobbying activities by certain Defense Department officials, which will slow down the revolving door and help drain the swamp.

Unworthy Tribute: FEMA Contract Raises Disaster Preparedness Concerns

February 23, 2018

The failure of a small, inexperienced company to deliver meals to Puerto Rico disaster survivors highlights the need for improved federal contracting.

Whitefish Exposes Contracts Lacking Oversight Teeth

November 17, 2017

Whitefish Energy’s controversial contract to restore power in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico highlights systemic federal contracting problems.

Puerto Rico Electric Contract Concerning, But Normal

October 27, 2017

The no-audit clause in the Whitefish Energy contract to restore electricity in Puerto Rico is a problem, and it actually highlights a bigger problem with many federal contracts.

Understanding the Anti-Lobbying Law

June 15, 2017

Despite the plain language of anti-lobbying bans, a narrow interpretation by the DOJ has given executive branch employees a lot of leeway in influencing the legislative process.

White House Releases Ethics Waivers After Battle with OGE

June 1, 2017

The White House reversed its decision to fight the Office of Government Ethics over the release of government ethics records the day after POGO requested that it should proactively release copies of ethics waivers on public websites.

Contracts Need to Be Posted Online

March 24, 2017

The “Contractor Accountability and Transparency Act of 2017” (S. 651) introduced by Senator Claire McCaskill will enhance transparency in the area of federal contract spending. The bill will expand the information available on USASpending.gov, make the contract information more accessible and readable, and help reduce Freedom of Information Act backlogs.

Trump Fails to Expand Definition of Lobbyist in Ethics Order

January 30, 2017

President Trump’s ethics executive order fails to drain the swamp and end a federal government controlled by influence peddlers. Although some of the restrictions are good, the order fails to redefine lobbying and therefore offers little hope that much will actually change in Washington.

POGO Testifies about Costs of Overclassification and Government Secrecy

December 9, 2016

POGO’s Scott Amey testified this week before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at a hearing titled “Examining the Costs of Overclassification on Transparency and Security.” POGO’s testimony highlighted ways the executive branch conceals information from Congress and the public, including the use of overclassification, retroactive classification, controlled unclassified information markings, and secret laws. The testimony offered seven recommendations for resolving the tension between openness and secrecy in government.

New Rule: Even the Appearance of a Conflict of Interest Should Be Avoided for Government Employees

November 17, 2016

The Office of Government Ethics finalized a rule governing the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to government employees from outside sources. The new rule is intended to “advance public confidence in the integrity of Federal officials” by advising government employees that they should avoid accepting gifts that create an appearance that their integrity or ability to act impartially is compromised.

GSA Learns Lessons from Lost Recovery Board Data

October 5, 2016

The General Services Administration announced a new contract with Dun & Bradstreet to provide the government with data on contractors, grantees, and other recipients of federal funds. This deal ensures that any future changes in the way those receiving government funds are identified doesn’t cause a major government disruption or loss of data.

B-21 Comes with a Stealth Final Price Tag

April 7, 2016

Despite requests by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, the Air Force isn't releasing the final contract value for the B-21, the new Long Range Strike Bomber, arguing that estimates are good enough.

Congress Locks Pentagon into Commercial Item Ripoffs

December 23, 2015

New legislation and industry concerns might have killed a Defense Department commercial item buying rule that would have prevented wasteful spending. We'll have to wait until next year, but it certainly looks like the Pentagon is locked into more bad deals.

NAP Causes Irritability Among Civil Society Groups

November 3, 2015

The White House's National Action Plan is filled with many promises, but lacks details and misses opportunities.

Who’s Ripping Off the Government Now? The Government!

October 15, 2015

The General Services Administration charges other agencies fees when they use GSA-established contracts. Those fees have provided a slush fund to GSA that exceeds $1 billion.

DoD IG Has Sinking Review of Navy Pay System

September 15, 2015

The Department of Defense isn't auditable, but can it be when the Navy has a faulty contract payment system?

EPA Coming Clean, but Gold King a Gold Mine for Contractors

September 8, 2015

Newly released records show the EPA reacting to an undefined emergency in the same region as the Gold King Mine leak — a day before the spill occurred.

DoD Reply to 2010 FOIA: Go to the Army

July 23, 2015

After five years, POGO finally receives a FOIA response from the Department of Defense...sort of.

USAID’s Partner Vetting System: Controversial but Necessary

July 13, 2015

The United States Agency for International Development’s Partner Vetting System isn't without controversy, but it is possible to find the right balance to ensure taxpayer dollars don't go to terrorists.

Government Charge Cards Still Being Abused

June 10, 2015

Government charge card spending abuses are reoccurring, and records obtained by POGO show that the problem is worse than imagined.

GSA Promoting New Pricing Tools

May 15, 2015

POGO opposes a new plan to scrap pricing protections and rely instead on prices previously paid by the government. The plan would essentially lock the government into buying commercially available goods at government prices rather genuine market prices.

Thornberry Buying Industry Commercial-Item Policies

April 28, 2015

POGO has received lobbying documents that show that proposed changes to commercial items definitions and procurement processes come at the behest of industry. And if history is any guide, the Defense Department and taxpayers will have to eat the costs of the new “efficiencies.”

Afghanistan Oversight: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen?

April 7, 2015

The end of Operation Enduring Freedom and the beginning of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel on January 1, 2015, are creating a bureaucratic stir in Washington. The result might be a turf battle by Inspectors General and a loss of much needed oversight.

IRS Whistleblower Office: A Taxing Affair

March 26, 2015

No one likes a tax cheat, but questions remain about whether the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Whistleblower Office is doing enough to incentivize and reward whistleblowers who report tax violations.

In Carter We Trust?

March 24, 2015

Representative Duckworth wants more information about Defense Department efforts to hire the appropriate workforce and to use contractor inventories for budgetary and readiness purposes.

Groups Seek to Ban Secret Election Support by Contractors

March 2, 2015

In an effort to know more about federal contractors who influence elections, 50 groups have signed on to a letter urging President Obama to tackle the issue of secret political spending that can result in corruption in federal contracting.

Secrecy Exposes Government to Shady Dealings

February 26, 2015

Operating in the dark could make the NSA and other intelligence agencies prone to fraud and corruption. Labor overcharging by contract employees of the NSA might only be the tip of the iceberg.

The Fight Against Pseudo-Classification

February 3, 2015

It's only February, but its been a busy year on the open government front. The Transportation Security Administration's use of pseudo-classification markings has been criticized and the problem appears more like a pattern that a random instance.

POGO Asks Pentagon for Better Tracking of Service Contracts

December 9, 2014

DoD is shirking its legal responsibilities to monitor and improve the size, spending, and functions of the service contracting workforce. The result is wasted money that could be spent on equipment, training, and support that DoD and soldiers need.

CMRR-NF Cancelled, but Questions Linger

November 20, 2014

The Department of Energy cancelled plans to construct the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement – Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF). DOE plans to update existing facilities and to construct modular facilities, but questions still linger.

Acquisition Reform Seems More Like Industry Wish List

November 7, 2014

Acquisition reform is a hot buzz phrase, but the latest proposal by the New Democrat Coalition reads like a contracting lobbyist's talking points. Contracting improvements are needed, but the government shouldn't invite contractors to run the store and gut accountability measures.

DoD IG Pledges to Better Protect Contractor Whistleblowers

October 30, 2014

The Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) responded positively to a bipartisan Hill letter inquiring about a recent decision by his office that seemed to undermine contractor whistleblower protections.

POGO Briefs the Supreme Court Supporting MacLean

October 2, 2014

This week, the Project On Government Oversight submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting Robert MacLean, who blew the whistle on a cost-cutting measure that would have removed air marshals from long-distance flights when the government was aware of a looming terrorist hijacking plot.

Hill Encourages DoD IG to Protect Contractor Whistleblowers

September 25, 2014

A bipartisan group of Members of Congress sent a letter chastising the DoD Office of Inspector General for having an “extremely limited definition of Department of Defense personnel to whom contractor and subcontractor employees may make protected disclosures.”

No More Excuses for Failing to Downblend

August 25, 2014

If the government sped up dismantlement and highly enriched uranium downblending efforts, the United States and the world would be a safer place—and the government might make a few (million) dollars, too.

Should Contractor FOIA Objections be Labeled?

August 20, 2014

Improvements to FOIA are moving through Congress, and one additional change is needed--the public should be informed when contractors object to the release of information to the public.

It’s That Time Again—The False Claims Act is Under Attack

July 30, 2014

A House hearing will look at the False Claims Act, which protects the federal government from fraud by companies and individuals, but some groups are calling for cuts to the law's most important provisions.

SIGAR and USAID Clash over Access to Afghan Assessments

April 8, 2014

SIGAR wants USAID to stop stonewalling about failures in Afghanistan reconstruction spending. USAID is protecting information, and some of their justifications are far fetched.

DoD Revolving Door Database Needs to Get into GEAR

April 2, 2014

The Department of Defense doesn't want anyone, including the DoD Inspector General, to know who is going through the revolving door.

Contractors Receive Huge Raise on Same Day Income Inequality Discussed

December 5, 2013

The White House raised the contractor compensation cap to nearly $1 million. That amount doesn't signify how much contractor can be paid; it only signifies how much will come from U.S. taxpayers. POGO supports efforts to significantly reduce the taxpayers' financial burden for paying exorbitant contractor compensation.

Tiny Bubbles: Afghan Reconstruction Oversight Shrinks

November 8, 2013

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan reconstruction is predicting an oversight access gap in the future. The troop drawdown is going to make it impossible to oversee many reconstruction projects that have been completed or are under construction.

Will Congress Fix How Contractors Are Held Accountable?

November 4, 2013

POGO has proposed changes to the federal government's suspension and debarment system for years, and supports the proposed SUSPEND Act, which would consolidate the vast suspension and debarment system.

DoD OIG Expands into “Buy American” Compliance

October 25, 2013

POGO urged the Defense Department Inspector General to expand its audit into domestic preference laws. The IG recently announced that is would expand the audit, and now it will investigate DoD compliance with the Berry Amendment and the Buy American Act.

Is the Army Making Workforce Decisions Without Cost Data?

October 22, 2013

The Army outlined plans to have soldiers work in dining halls and as security guards, removing contractors from those activities. Finding the right mix of military, civilian, and contractor personnel is essential to an effective military, and cost is a vital variable that should be considered.

DoD IG Confirms POGO’s DARPA Concerns

September 6, 2013

DARPA improperly awards contracts, often without proper evaluations, required support or approvals, and checking the adequacy of contractor accounting systems.

Government Confirms Area 51, But Answers Still Secret

August 19, 2013

Despite years of denying the existence of Area 51, the CIA, in response to a Freedom of information Request from the National Security Archive has finally confirmed that the Nevada base exists and that it is, indeed, named Area 51.

Contracting Policy Office Wants Industry Inside Agencies

July 31, 2013

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy is promoting the idea of allowing contracting personnel to rotate between the government and the private sector. But this proposal is the last thing we need if we want to enhance the federal acquisition workforce.

Chairman Issa’s SUSPEND Act: Pros and Cons

July 25, 2013

Chairman Issa's SUSPEND Act draft bill has been the subject of a hearing and a recent panel discussion. Although many contracting experts don't see a need for change, it might be time for legislation that will improve the suspension and debarment system and finally hold contractors accountable.

Billions of Defense Contract Dollars May Go Unaudited

July 24, 2013

Potentially billions of taxpayer dollars may be going out the door to defense contractors without the normal scrutiny Defense Department auditors usually give to this spending. And it might be too late for the government to get our money back even when some of those contract dollars are examined and overcharges are found.

Cap Fight! Debate Continues Over Contractor Compensation

June 14, 2013

This week, the House Armed Services Committee took up the long-debated issue of setting the contractor compensation benchmark in the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. Section 813 includes language to set the cap at its current level of $763,029, but allows for cost adjustments.

Call Me Maybe

June 7, 2013

GSA's new wireless agreement is being applauded for its cost savings and efficiencies. But does it really answer the call, especially after taking years to award?

White House Backing Down on Contractor Compensation Cap

May 30, 2013

The White House is backing down on its call to significantly reduce the cap on compensation for defense and civilian contractor employees.

DOE Contracting Woes Continue

May 20, 2013

The Department of Energy Inspector General found subcontract audit weaknesses with nine Management and Operating contractors. Subcontracts totaling nearly $1 billion had not been audited or were reviewed in a manner that did not meet audit standards, which can lead to waste and fraud of taxpayer dollars.

Cell Phone Services Show Broken Buying System

May 8, 2013

OMB's Norman Dong provided details about a federal agency with 13 comparable phone service plans that appear to be wasting taxpayer dollars.

White House Takes on Federal vs. Contractor Employee Costs

April 19, 2013

POGO supports the government's efforts to compare the cost of federal employees and contractors performing the same work because it currently lacks an effective way to compare the true costs when making hiring and contracting decisions.

Budget Takes on Contractor Compensation Cap

April 12, 2013

Contractors are permitted to price or seek reimbursement from the government up to $763,029 in costs for each of their employees’ compensation packages. This is nearly twice the salary of the President of the United States. The President is calling for a reduction, and Congress is ready to act.

It’s Time to Get Serious About Trafficking-in-Persons Policies

March 27, 2013

POGO has urged the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to implement the strongest possible prohibitions on trafficking in persons (TIP), but you can help fight human trafficking too.

Retire Today, Do the Same Job for More Pay Tomorrow

March 22, 2013

The Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General (IG) released an inspection report detailing prime contractor employees who retire and then go to work as a subcontractor doing the same work in the same office but at a higher salary, which might not be good for taxpayers.

Public Deserves Access to Contractor Workforce Size and Cost Data

March 15, 2013

Access to federal government data on the size and cost of the contractor workforce needs improvement. Agencies still don't collect the data needed to understand the financial burden of millions of government and contractor workers.

DoD Contractors Cost Nearly 3 Times More than DoD Civilians

November 30, 2012

Defense Department contractor employees are costing nearly 3 times more than an average DoD civilian employee, but little is being done by DoD and Congress to prevent such wasteful spending.

POGO Wants Reduced DoD Contractor Employee Compensation Cap

October 19, 2012

The Project On Government Oversight and other groups are urging Congress to lower the amount of allowable compensation that contractor employees can bill to Pentagon contracts.

Pentagon Single-Bid Contracting Hurting Taxpayers

October 15, 2012

Single-bid contracts and lack of pricing data are preventing good buying at the Defense Department.

Executive Order Focuses on Prohibiting Human Trafficking

October 4, 2012

An Executive Order details guidance for a new anti-human trafficking rule that will prohibit U.S.-facilitated trafficking occurring abroad. The EO strengthens the government’s zero-tolerance policy rules governing trafficking in persons.

No Mention of Contractors, But Federal and Private Pay Differences Depend on Methodologies

July 25, 2012

Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled Results of Studies on Federal Pay Varied Due to Differing Methodologies (GAO-12-564).

Defense Department's New Definition of "Commercial Item" Will Save Money

May 2, 2012

POGO recently learned that DoD sent a legislative proposal to Congress to narrow the definition of a "commercial item" to mean goods or services that are actually sold to the general public in "like quantities." This proposal is a huge improvement over the current definition.

OFPP Pretends to Grudgingly Raise Contractor Executive Compensation Cap by 10 Percent

April 30, 2012

Last week, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) raised the amount the federal government will reimburse or price into government contracts for contractor executive compensation to $763,029.

Senators Introduce Bill to Reel in Excessive Contractor Compensation

March 26, 2012

Last week, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) proposed the Commonsense Contractor Compensation Act of 2012 (S. 2198) to reduce taxpayer reimbursement of government contractor compensation. The bill would apply a $400,000 compensation cap to all contractor employees, not just defense contractors as mandated in the 2012 Defense Authorization bill (see Sec. 803).

Is the Federal Suspension and Debarment System Broken?

November 17, 2011

Is the federal suspension and debarment system broken? The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) attempted to answer that question yesterday.

Senate Tackles Obama's Contractor Political Spending Disclosure EO

June 16, 2011

President Obama's contractor political spending Executive Order (EO) isn't out yet, but that's not preventing Congress from heading it off at the pass. The House approved the National Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1540), which includes a provision (Section 847) which would prohibit the federal government from requiring a contractor to disclose political spending on federal elections and prevent much-needed transparency and accountability of possible pay-to-play antics.

Will the President Sign an EO to Increase Disclosure of Political Spending by Contractors?

May 10, 2011

President Obama is considering issuing an executive order that will require the disclosure of and online public access to federal contractor spending on elections.

GSA Scheduling Conflict

August 25, 2010

GSA schedules are beneficial as intended, but are they a government nightmare in reality? The schedules offer pre-negotiated contracts to federal and state agencies looking to buy commercial goods and services.

Presidents and DoD Hide Behind Secrecy Shield at Area 51

May 22, 2006

Longtime POGO fans will remember our work on Area 51. The Federation of American Scientists’ Steven Aftergood recently detailed a May 2005 emergency manual for the F-117A Stealth Fighter, detailing the aircraft’s dimensions, hazards, materials, and “hazardous byproducts of burning wreckage.” That information mirrors discovery requests by former Area 51 skilled laborers who developed mysterious illnesses from open air burning at the super secret Air Force facility.

Legislating Secrecy from the Bench

January 25, 2006

An alarming case of judicial activism just in from Steve "James Brown" Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy follows below. This ruling would dramatically expand the risks for journalists and government oversight investigators.

July 14, 2018

The Air Force’s $10,000 toilet cover

The Washington Post | By Aaron Gregg

July 12, 2018

Business booming: Trump family’s cash surge

News.com.au | By Sarah-Jane Collins

July 6, 2018

New EPA Chief on Collision Course Over Conflicts of Interest

Bloomberg | By Christopher Flavelle, Bill Allison, Jennifer A. Dlouhy

May 16, 2018

Rudy Giuliani’s confusing media statements may hurt his business

Associated Press | By Richard Lardner

May 13, 2018

‘Why I chose to run’: Congressional challengers use bill backed by drug companies against incumbents

The Washington Post | By Scott Higham, Reis Thebault, Steven Rich

May 11, 2018

AT&T CEO: Hiring Cohen as a consultant was a ‘big mistake’

The Washington Post | By Brian Fung, Tony Romm

April 25, 2018

West Wing is investigating Pruitt. But it won't say why

E&E News | By Zack Colman

April 25, 2018

U.S. Bank Regulator Acquired Bank Stock While Nomination Was Under Review

The Wall Street Journal | By Ryan Tracy

April 17, 2018

Trump’s trade rep spends $1M on new furniture, blames Obama

New York Post | By Marisa Schultz

April 11, 2018

Scott Pruitt’s Idea to Update an E.P.A. Keepsake: Less E.P.A., More Pruitt

The New York Times | By Lisa Friedman, Kenneth P. Vogel

April 6, 2018

Is Trump draining the swamp – or is the water rising?

Christian Science Monitor | By Linda Feldmann

April 5, 2018

Trump dines with energy lobbyist whose client seeks power bailout

ThinkProgress | By Mark Hand

March 16, 2018

One month she’s supervising state drug program, next month she’s with CVS

The Columbus Dispatch | By Marty Schladen

March 15, 2018

Sen. Bernie Sanders takes aim at defense industry excesses

DefenseNews | By Joe Gould

March 13, 2018

Aide to Ex-Iowa Senate Leader Who Kissed Lobbyist Resigns

The New York Times | Associated Press | By Barbara Rodriguez

March 6, 2018

EPA Side Hustles Draw Congressional Democrats’ Scrutiny

Bloomberg BNA | By Tiffany Stecker

March 3, 2018

Ethics issues pile up for Trump Cabinet officials

The Hill | By Lydia Wheeler

February 28, 2018

O'Rielly's Trump Comment Draws Fire; Groups Seek Probe of Alleged Hatch Act Violation

Communications Daily | By David Kaut

February 28, 2018

Questions remain over Trump Organization's donation of foreign profits

CNN | By Cristina Alesci

February 27, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's NRA visit among several trips being questioned

CNN | By Cristina Alesci, Sara Ganim, Rene Marsh, and Gregory Wallace

February 21, 2018

Donald Trump Jr.: No One Ever Mentions All the Sacrifices We've Made

Vanity Fair | By Bess Levin

February 20, 2018

Luxury property ad blitz heralds Trump son's visit to India

AP (Houston Chronicle) | By Muneeza Naqvi

February 5, 2018

Ethical Predicaments Weigh Down Opioids Effort

National Journal | By Erin Durkin

February 2, 2018

Husband of former Trump household aide scores government job

Politico | By Andrew Restuccia

January 31, 2018

EPA Chief Promises Democratic Senators Some Missing Answers

Government Executive | By Charles S. Clark

January 30, 2018

Trump's top health official traded tobacco stock while leading anti-smoking efforts

Politico | By Sarah Karlin-Smith, Brianna Ehley

January 7, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: A New CFPB Scandal – Cost Overruns for It’s New Lux Headquarters

The Daily Caller | By Richard Pollock

January 5, 2018

FBI has been investigating Clinton Foundation for months: report

USA Today | By Heidi M. Przybyla

January 4, 2018

Border Agency Asked to Explain $297 Million Accenture Contract

Bloomberg Government | By Louis C. LaBrecque

January 2, 2018

Special Counsel and Russia Probe Seen Likely to Carry On

The Daily Signal | By Fred Lucas

December 20, 2017

Trump Vacancies at Homeland Security Endangering Nation, Group Says

Newsweek | By Nicole Rodriguez

December 12, 2017

Trump's Push to Cut Federal Jobs Has Modest Impact, Mostly in Defense

US News & World Report | Reuters | By Jason Lange

December 12, 2017

The White House and the Trump Organization have merged

ThinkProgress | By Ryan Koronowski

November 22, 2017

As Fat Leonard scandal grinds on, another Navy fraud case is under the radar

The San Diego Union-Tribune | By Greg Moran

November 10, 2017

Trump Installs Tax-Dodging Expert as the Head of the IRS

The Daily Beast | By Betsy Woodruff

November 8, 2017

Trump Finds Key Ally For Confirming His Homeland Security Secretary: The Swamp

HuffPost | By Jennifer Bendery

November 4, 2017

Trump backs New York in bourses' battle for Saudi Aramco listing

Reuters | By Jonathan Landay, Reem Shamseddine

November 2, 2017

The Puerto Rico Contract’s Lack Of Transparency? It’s Not Unusual

International Business Times | By Lydia O'Neal

November 2, 2017

Puerto Rico Needs Debt Relief, Not More Deals with Private Investors

HuffPost | By Donald Cohen

November 2, 2017

Senators call for crackdown on pharmaceutical industry ‘revolving door’

The Washington Post | By Scott Highman, Lenny Bernstein

October 30, 2017

Anita Perry travels as department 'asset'

E&E News | By Hannah Northey

October 29, 2017

Backed by UnitedHealth, HHS nominee would now help oversee it

Politico | By Dan Diamond

October 29, 2017

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Cancels Whitefish Energy Deal

The Huffington Post | By Jennifer Bendery, Hayley Miller

October 27, 2017

Lawmakers, Procurement Experts Call Puerto Rico Power Contract a 'Travesty'

Government Executive | By Eric Katz

October 24, 2017

Meet the scandal-scarred transition team charged with revamping the VA

Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting | By Ben Leonard

October 23, 2017

Emails reveal chaos behind border wall

USA Today | By Jill Castellano and Rafael Carranza

October 18, 2017

Congressman Greg Walden Is Paying Two Family Members With Campaign Funds

Willamette Week | By Anna Williams

October 16, 2017

Facebook Is Looking for Employees With National Security Clearances

Bloomberg Technology | By Sarah Frier, Bill Allison

October 4, 2017

Watchdog probe of Mnuchin's travel is nearly complete

CNN Money | By Donna Borak

September 28, 2017

Kellyanne Conway Just Closed a Million Dollar Deal Thanks to her Ties to Trump

Newsweek | By Christianna Silva

September 28, 2017

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway sells polling company to conservative PR firm

USA Today | By Heidi M. Przybyla

September 14, 2017

How to make $240,000 in 6 months by being friends with Rick Perry

ThinkProgress | By Addy Baird

September 6, 2017

Obama appointees negotiated for jobs while still in office

E&E News | By Kevin Bogardus and Michael Doyle

September 1, 2017

Erik Prince thinks he’s the Elon Musk of privatized warfare

VICE News | By Alexa Liautaud

August 23, 2017

How Trump could ease the burden he's putting on the Secret Service

USA Today | By Heidi M. Przybyla

August 8, 2017

Why tracking government spending on Trump-owned businesses is hard

Federal Computer Week | FCW | By Ben Berliner

August 2, 2017

3 Trump Appointees Owe Thousands of Dollars in Back Taxes

Yahoo News | By [Time] Dave Levinthal

July 21, 2017

Ivanka Trump Received at Least $12.6 Million Since 2016, Disclosure Shows

The New York Times | By Rachel Abrams and Jesse Drucker

June 20, 2017

Trump seeks sharp cuts to housing aid, except for program that brings him millions

The Washington Post | By Shawn Boburg

May 2, 2017

Atkins: Liz lamenting Ivanka conflicts a fool’s errand, experts say

Boston Herald | By Kimberly Atkins

April 24, 2017

State Department Website Posts Article on Trump's Florida Resort

Reuters | By Yeganeh Torbati

April 1, 2017

Trump Couple, Now White House Employees, Can’t Escape Conflict Laws

New York Times | By Eric Lipton and Jesse Drucker

March 31, 2017

Contractors Resist Push to Post Contracts Online

Government Executive | By Charles S. Clark

March 29, 2017

Warren Wants Ethics Office To Review Ivanka Trump’s White House Role

Western Journalism | By Jack Davis

March 24, 2017

Did Donald Trump violate the law with a Twitter post?

Salon | By Matthew Rozsa

February 8, 2017

Trump blasts Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka’s clothing line

Politico | By Aidan Quigley

February 7, 2017

Melania Trump says White House could mean millions for brand

WTOP | By Associated Press

January 30, 2017

Trump’s Ethics Order Seen as Boost for Shadow Lobbying

Bloomberg Politics | By Bill Allison and Ben Brody

January 30, 2017

Trump’s Lobbying Ban Draws Mixed Reviews From Ethics Groups

Charles S. Clark | By Government Executive

January 26, 2017

Trump White House Appears To Kill Obama's Ethics Rule: Appointees May Not Be Signing Required Ethics Pledges

International Business Times (IBT) | By David Sirota