Selected Impact and Accomplishments for 2015
Congressional Oversight Boot Camp
POGO partners with the Levin and Lugar Centers to launch a two-day boot camp for congressional staffers, offering intensive instruction and hands-on exercises on how to conduct effective government oversight.
Protecting Veterans Affairs Whistleblowers
Three POGO investigators testify at hearings on the VA's handling of whistleblowers. Based on our testimony, Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduce a bipartisan bill to improve how whistleblower complaints are handled at the agency and how those who retailate against VA whistleblowers are punished.
Straus Military Advisory Board
The Straus Military Advisory Board is launched and the first Jack Shanahan Fellow, is brought on board.
Exposing Drug Problems at the FDA
POGO exposes systemic weaknesses in the FDA's oversight of prescription drugs. Following POGO investigations spotlighting flaws in clinical trials of blood thinners, the FDA reassesses past regulatory action and announces it will tighten standards.
Justice For National Security Whistleblowers
TSA whistleblower Robert MacLean, fired for raising concerns about TSA's air marshal program in the wake of 9/11, wins Supreme Court ruling after POGO fought for over a decade to reverse his wrongful termination.
Lt. Col. Jason Amerine was placed under criminal investigation for raising concerns to Congress about the Unites States' dysfunctional hostage recovery process. After POGO's advocacy, the Army dropped the investigation, awarded him the prestigious Legion of Merit medal, and allowed him to retire with full benefits. Learn more here.
Thwarting Abusers of Power
Inspectors General (IGs) at the Department of Commerce and Veterans Affairs and the Deputy IG of the Department of Defense resign after POGO highlights their ineffective oversight. Pressure from POGO also results in Air Force General James Post being removed from command for accusing A-10 whistleblowers of committing "treason."
Testimony of POGO's Liz Hempowicz on Whistleblower Protections before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, November 18, 2015.
Testimony of POGO's Lydia Dennett on Whistleblower Retaliation at the Department of Veterans Affairs, November 6, 2015.
Testimony of POGO's Danielle Brian on "All Means 'All': The Justice Department's Failure to Comply with Its Legal Obligation to Ensure Inspector General Access to All Records Needed for Independent Oversight," August 5, 2015.
Testimony of POGO's Danielle Brian on "Whistleblower Claims at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs," July 30, 2015.
Written testimony by POGO's Lydia Dennett on "The Federal Information Technology Reform Act's Role in Reducing IT Acquisition Risk," June 16, 2015
Testimony of POGO's Danielle Brian on "Watchdogs Needed: Top Government Investigator Positions Left Unfilled for Years," June 3, 2015.
Written testimony by POGO's Lydia Dennett on "Addressing Continued Whistleblower Retaliation Within VA," April 13, 2015.