Featured Investigations

Drilling Down: Big Oil's Bidding

February 22, 2018
For decades, there has been a virtual giveaway of offshore drilling rights. And the Trump Administration is planning to put much more on the auction block.


Impunity for U.S.-Funded Warlords in Afghanistan

February 16, 2018

A report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) last month revealed that the United States is unable or unwilling to stop funding units that engage in torture, summary execution, and other serious human rights violations, despite Congress’s efforts to restrict that aid.


Propaganda by Proxy: How High-Powered Lobbying and PR Firms Launder Influence for Foreign Governments

January 29, 2018

Lax enforcement of a key lobbying disclosure law and the use of middlemen makes it hard to track foreign propaganda in the United States.


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Capitol Surveillance 120

Key Government Privacy Watchdog Muzzled During Surveillance Debate

June 26, 2017 | Andrea Peterson

The independent government agency that’s supposed to ensure your privacy and civil liberties are respected by surveillance programs is practically paralyzed as Congress is debating key spying powers.

KGL Logistics Iran Rials Money 120

The US Military's Iran Connection?

June 7, 2017 | Adam Zagorin

KGL Chairman Saed Dashti charged in criminal fraud and money laundering case. Estimated losses to investors: more than $160 million.

Donald Trump Cabinet 120

Trump's Ethics Pledge Is Paper-Thin

June 6, 2017 | Daniel Van Schooten, Laura Peterson

Federal agencies provided few details on how they are addressing political appointees' potential conflicts of interest during the Trump administration.

Private Detention Centers Immigration 120

ICE’s Private Detention Centers Keep Data Under Lock and Key

May 3, 2017 | Mia Steinle

Hundreds of thousands of people are held for varying amounts of time in America’s privately run detention centers every year. But good luck trying to piece together the sparse data that the federal government makes public about these private detention centers.

Merkley Secret 120

Justice Department's "Secret Law" Still Prevalent, Documents Show

March 22, 2017 | Daniel Van Schooten, Nick Schwellenbach

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel produces binding legal opinions on important issues, many of which are secret. POGO’s analysis shows that the Obama administration did not make OLC substantially more transparent. The Trump administration could chart a new path forward.

U.S. Navy and Civilian Contractors 120

Contract Transparency: What Uncle Sam Can Learn from the States

March 15, 2017 | Sean Moulton

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.

Blood Sample Scientist Lab

FDA Set Low Bar for Approval of Blood Thinners

December 12, 2016 | David S. Hilzenrath

The Project On Government Oversight’s past reporting on prescription blood thinners illustrates how low the FDA has set the bar for drug approval and what the FDA has glossed over or overlooked along the way.

FDA Drug Money Companies 120

In FDA Meetings, "Voice" of the Patient Often Funded by Drug Companies

December 1, 2016 | David S. Hilzenrath

The Food and Drug Administration is required by law to consult with patient and consumer groups, but the vast majority of the groups the FDA included in a recent round of “stakeholder” meetings received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Many of the groups have other ties to industry, such as drug company personnel on their boards.

FDA Drug Money 120

FDA Depends on Industry Funding; Money Comes with “Strings Attached”

December 1, 2016 | David S. Hilzenrath

The Food and Drug Administration depends on the drug industry for much of its funding, and that money, in the form of “user fees,” comes with strings attached: every five years, the pharmaceutical industry gets to negotiate with the FDA the terms under which funding is reauthorized, giving industry extraordinary influence over its regulator.

Server data cloud

Data Matching Barriers Prevent Inspectors General From Reaching Full Potential

October 12, 2016 | Nicholas Pacifico

Complex legal and process barriers are preventing agencies and Inspectors General from sharing readily available data.

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