About POGO

Sean Moulton

Open Government Program Manager


Year started at POGO: 2015

Areas of expertise: Open Government, Government Accountability, Freedom of Information Act, Contractor Oversight, Ethics

Sean Moulton is the Open Government Program Manager at POGO and oversees the effort to develop a “blueprint” the next president can use to build a more open and accountable administration.

Before joining POGO, Sean worked for over a decade on transparency and government accountability issues, with special attention to freedom of information issues, spending transparency, and environmental right-to-know policies. He has authored reports, testified before Congress, submitted comments on proposed regulations, and helped launch public disclosure websites. He has spoken on open government issues extensively with the media, having appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, ABC, and NBC and being quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other major news publications.

Sean led the Center for Effective Government’s open government work for 13 years. He has also worked at Friends of the Earth, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council on Economic Priorities. In 2011 Sean was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English from Albright College.

POGO Offers Recommendations to Improve USAspending.gov

June 28, 2018

The Project On Government Oversight offers detailed recommendations to improve the federal government’s primary website on federal spending.

Government Earns Poor Grades for Spending Data Accuracy

December 1, 2017

Inspectors General throughout the government are releasing the results of the first government-wide audit of federal spending data, and they are uncovering big problems.

Secrecy and Imbalance in Regulatory Review

October 24, 2017

In the Trump administration, the regulators have been tasked to be de-regulators and their efforts have been plagued by secrecy, limited public involvement, and close ties with industry, which is leading to imbalanced results tilted toward special interests.

POGO Joins Groups Asking Congressional Budget Office to Increase Transparency

June 19, 2017

POGO joined 26 groups concerned about transparency and accountability urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to improve the transparency and usability of its data.

Trump Administration Reverses Course on White House Visitor Logs

April 14, 2017

The Trump Administration hides behind national security as it reasons for not proactively releasing White House Visitor Logs. This is another leap in the wrong direction in the fight to clean up Washington and the federal government.

Contract Transparency: What Uncle Sam Can Learn from the States

March 15, 2017

The federal government could learn a lot from the states on contract transparency. Two thirds of the states proactively post at least some of their contract documents right on their spending websites. Despite spending hundreds of billions through contracts each year, the federal government still hasn't begun posting any contracts on USASpending.gov.

Strengthening Government Accountability and Transparency

November 3, 2016

The Project On Government Oversight urges the next President to aggressively engage on problems that have plagued our federal government for years – waste, corruption, delay, ineffectiveness. Accountability and transparency offer solutions that will rebuild public confidence and establish a more open, honest, and democratic government.

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's Public Comment to GSA on Corporate Identifiers

January 19, 2016

POGO supports the government moving away from using proprietary company IDs and establishing a system that will better track who is getting federal contract awards and assistance spending.

Symposium: Clear Regulations Protect Freedom, Not Restrict It

June 19, 2018

Elizabeth Warren and others spoke at a recent Coalition for Sensible Safeguards event on the Trump Administration’s deregulation policies and the impact they have on health and finances.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (or a Scientist’s Lab Coat)

May 10, 2018

The EPA’s claims its new science policy will increase transparency, but it will actually severely limit the scientific information the agency can use to keep the public safe.

The Citizenship Question: A Lot Riding on a Single Change in 2020 Census

April 10, 2018

The Trump Administration wants to add an untested question about citizenship to the 2020 census, but including it could reduce the accuracy of the data—data that we use to apportion Congressional seats to the states and to direct hundreds of billions in federal funds.

Regulatory Rhetoric Meets Regulatory Research

March 30, 2018

Despite months of the President railing against regulations, a new government report concludes that benefits of regulations vastly outweigh the costs.

Census Needs Strong Objective Leadership—Now

February 28, 2018

A controversial pick for a top Census Bureau job has withdrawn. Strong nonpartisan leadership is needed at the Bureau to ensure the 2020 census goes well.

Government Shutdown Continues to Loom

December 15, 2017

Congress gave us a temporary reprieve from a government shutdown, but the possibility it could still happen remains. A federal shutdown would have more impact than you might think.

New Public Accountability on Ethics Agreements

May 18, 2017

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) established a new certification that tracks presidential appointees’ ethics compliance, which will be posted online. The move should create greater accountability when it comes to appointees’ ethics commitments.

Regulations: America’s Unsung Heroes

March 3, 2017

President Trump should focus on making regulations better or improving the regulatory process. Regulations provide enormous benefits to all of us. For example, they ensure that prescription drugs and other products are safe for the public.

Executive Order is Two Steps Backwards on Regulations

February 2, 2017

President Trump’s “one-in, two-out” Executive Order on regulations could bring rulemaking to a grinding halt and shortsightedly ignores the benefits from regulations.

Government Gag Orders Put Public at Risk

January 26, 2017

If the White House is issuing gag orders to prevent employees at federal agencies from communicating with Congress and the public, it could be illegal and represent a serious threat to public health and safety.

Open Government Win on Toxic Pollution

January 12, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposal to expand a toxic pollution reporting program—the Toxics Release Inventory program—to include natural gas processing plants. The proposed rule is an important win for open government as it will increase public awareness of environmental impacts associated with these natural gas facilities, and will likely motivate companies to reduce toxic releases.

House Committee Votes to Keep Congressional Reports Secret

May 26, 2016

The House Appropriations Committee voted against posting Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports online for the public.

Bill May Finally Make Congressional Research Reports Public

March 11, 2016

A new bill introduced in Congress would require that Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports be posted online by the Government Printing Office so the public would finally have easy, free access to the informative materials.

Government Ending Contractor ID Monopoly

January 22, 2016

To track the recipients of taxpayer dollars, the government has been paying millions each year to rent a system from the private sector. But that monopoly may soon be ending.

9/11 Responders Get Permanent Health Care Benefits

January 8, 2016

Congress deserves credit for finally passing permanent health care benefits for 9/11 responders as 2015 was winding down.

Congress Adds Insult to 9/11 Injuries

October 19, 2015

Congress lets funding for 9/11 medical assistance for first responders expire, which is just the latest in a series of poor government actions around health and safety issues surrounding the 9/11 attacks.

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.

More Calls for Access to CRS’s Formal Reports

June 25, 2015

Congressional Research Service reports belong in the public domain.

July 6, 2018

Federal Spending Site Still Lacks Data After Revamp, Report Says

Bloomberg | By Sam Skolnik

May 16, 2018

FDA reverses course on a $4.2 million no-bid grant to a former commissioner

The Washington Post | By Carolyn Y. Johnson

May 16, 2018

FDA reverses course on a $4.2 million no-bid grant to a former commissioner

The Washington Post | By Carolyn Y. Johnson

May 16, 2018

FDA reverses course on Duke’s research grant after favoritism concerns

Politico (POLITICO Pulse) | By Dan Diamond

April 24, 2018

Rollout of Lautenberg law divides senators who championed it

E&E News | By Corbin Hiar

February 14, 2018

DeVos Dogged by Failures to Disclose

US News & World Report | By Lauren Camera

January 10, 2018

Sean Moulton: Potential regulation rollback in 2018

Federal News Radio | By Tom Temin

December 26, 2017

Where is Trump’s Cabinet? It’s anybody’s guess.

Politico | By Emily Holden

December 19, 2017

850,000 Federal Workers Could Face Furloughs Next Week

Bloomberg BNA | By Louis C. LaBrecque

December 14, 2017

The Latest: States warming up net-neutrality lawsuits

Associated Press |

October 31, 2017

Betsy DeVos’ Unexcused Absences

US News & World Report | By Lauren Camera

October 25, 2017

Here's what you don't know about regulations

Marketplace | By Tony Wagner

May 23, 2017

Ethics office blasts Trump refusal to disclose lobby waivers

WTOP via The Associated Press |

May 22, 2017

Democrats, watchdog seek Trump’s ethics waivers

The Washington Post | By Julie Bykowicz | AP

February 22, 2017

Advertisement Data disappeared from Obama administration site promoting transparency

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | By Tracie Mauriello

February 7, 2017

What will it take to throw out two regulations for every new one?

Marketplace | By Dan Gorenstein

January 10, 2017

Sean Moulton: Potential regulation rollback in 2018

Federal News Radio | By Tom Temin

August 17, 2016

Mixed reviews for Oregon public records law draft

The Bulletin | By Taylor W. Anderson

June 12, 2016

Governor’s open records responses keep public on a cold trail

The Bulletin | By Taylor W. Anderson

June 3, 2016

After 30 Years Since Transparency Debuted in Government, Work Remains

Government Technology; govtech.com | By Eyragon Eidam

March 30, 2016

When Red Tape Is a Good Thing

In Other Words | By Sean Moulton