FOR YOUR PROTECTION, DO NOT USE A GOVERNMENT PHONE, FAX, OR COMPUTER TO CONTACT POGO
The Project On Government Oversight has a long history of working with individuals daring to expose corruption. Many of these individuals with whom POGO has worked choose to remain anonymous to the public and even to POGO itself.
If you have information regarding fraudulent or wasteful activities in the government or the industries it regulates, and you would like to expose it in order to keep the government accountable to its citizens, please contact us.
POGO may be able to further research your concerns, bring public attention to any wrongdoing, and alert those who can bring about change. We've been watchdogs since 1981.
The Downside of "Whistleblowing" or exposing corruption
Whistleblowing is often not easy. Exposed whistleblowers are almost always reprimanded, fired, and/or harassed, even if they have not "gone public" and even if their allegations are proven to be true. It takes a lot of courage and forethought to take on a powerful government agency or a private contractor. The mental, emotional, and fiscal hardships that a whistleblower may encounter should be fully understood before any steps are taken to disseminate information - publicly or not.
In recent years, protections for federal employees have been unraveled by hostile judicial rulings. As a result, federal employees have little protections against retaliation.
Expose Corruption Anonymously
By working with POGO anonymously, the whistleblower generally does not risk retaliation or jeopardize his or her career. It is entirely up to the whistleblower to provide POGO with the necessary information, documents, or leads. This allows the whistleblower to expose the wrongdoing while lowering the risk of being attacked. In the past POGO has worked with whistleblowers who remain anonymous even to POGO. Unless you have already been publicly labeled as a whistleblower, we usually do not recommend coming forward publicly and exposing yourself to the many risks associated with doing so.
How-to Guide for Public Employees Exposing Problems
Three national nonprofits have joined forces to help public employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, or abuse by releasing a how-to manual, The Art of Anonymous Activism: Serving the Public While Surviving Public Service. Citing the increased dangers of whistleblowing, the support groups hope the guide will allow more public employees to come forward while avoiding retaliation from agencies seeking to hide their foibles and corruption.
Click here to read Chapter 1 of The Art of Anonymous Activism: Serving the Public While Surviving Public Service. Click here to order a copy online.
"The Art of Anonymous Activism gives us the tools and guidance necessary to 'make noise' in defense of our fellow citizens while protecting ourselves from harm."
-- Frank Serpico (in forward to the book)
How POGO Chooses Its Projects
The following are the criteria POGO uses to determine which projects we pursue. They do not present rigid guidelines, but provide us with a consistent way to evaluate our priorities.
- Capacity to make a unique contribution
- Opening for positive systemic change in the federal government
- Ability to broaden public awareness
- Urgency for action
- Availability of inside sources and/or documents
For more information on how POGO works on its projects, see our About page.
What POGO Does Not Do
- We do not deal with local and state issues unless federal money is involved.
- We do not provide legal advice or representation. Moreover, we will not recommend a specific legal counsel.
- We do not look at individual cases of fraud or waste unless they are directly representative of systemic or wide spread problems in the federal government and/or its contractors.
Although POGO evaluates every lead we receive, because we are a small organization, we are unable to pursue every case. Thank you for understanding our intentions and limitations.
If your information does not involve the federal government then we cannot take your case, but may be able to refer you to another organization. Click here for other resources.