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Project on Government Oversight

Corrupt Politicians: Watch Your Back or Clean Up Your Act

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July 8, 2009

POGO is pleased to learn that a new bipartisan organization has been formed to root out public corruption at the local, state, and federal level. The North Carolina-based Foundation for Ethics in Public Service uses a model that we believe in: soliciting tips from concerned insiders, whistleblowers, and the public.

POGO also relates to the Foundation's guiding principles: “first, government will always have a hard time policing itself; and second, more can be accomplished if we don't care who gets the credit.”

The website explains in more detail:

Our goal is to get results, not credit. One of the ways we will facilitate investigative reporting is by receiving and vetting tips, then passing them on to investigative reporters who expose them to the spotlight of media coverage. In other instances, investigative reporters will enlist our help to dig deeper when their instincts tell them there is more to the story, but they simply lack the time or resources to pursue the story. In those cases, we will investigate further and then hand the story back to the reporter who provided us with the tip in the first place.

Since launching their website on June 13, the group has already received 20 tips, which they will vet and pass along to investigative journalists and law enforcement agencies.

When POGO spoke with staff at the Foundation, they told me that since news went out nationally about their group, they have received tips from Virginia, Michigan, and California on corruption at universities, in law enforcement, and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.