Following these four best practices can help produce a better, fairer, and more thorough oversight investigation.
Congressional Oversight Trainings
Our Congressional Training Program is composed mainly of monthly training seminars and biannual Oversight Boot Camps. These free trainings aim to provide congressional staff with the skills necessary to conduct effective oversight investigations, directly contributing to a more accountable government. Since 2006, we have trained thousands of congressional staff — Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate, and from nearly every committee office as well as many personal offices — on the best practices of oversight and investigations.
Designed for veterans and beginners alike, our monthly seminars feature lessons from some of the most accomplished current and former congressional oversight experts and practitioners from both parties, and often from both the House and Senate. They provide opportunities for congressional staff to ask questions in an off-the-record environment. Although seminars are generally targeted toward committee staff, much of the information shared during these seminars is also helpful to staff in personal offices in their investigations. These nonpartisan training sessions are open to Hill staff regardless of party, chamber, or position. We also welcome staffers from the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service. POGO’s congressional oversight trainings are not open to the public.
To stay up to date on POGO’s trainings, subscribe to The Paper Trail, a twice weekly newsletter offering a curated collection of the top government news stories and the latest on POGO events.
2023-2024 Training Schedule
Our Congressional Training Program for the 118th Congress covers all the essential aspects of congressional oversight and investigations. Learn more.
Congressional Oversight Boot Camp
At least twice per year, POGO, in conjunction with the Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy and The Lugar Center, offers two-day, intensive training sessions for congressional staff on the art and practice of oversight and investigations.
Each of these Oversight Boot Camps brings together Democratic and Republican staff from the U.S. House and Senate committees and personal offices to produce a bipartisan, bicameral experience. To date, more than 300 congressional staff have completed this training on how to carry out fact-based, bipartisan, in-depth investigations.
For updates on upcoming boot camps, sign up for The Paper Trail.
Customized Staff Briefings
In addition to regular training seminars open to all congressional staff, POGO offers customized trainings tailored to the needs of an individual office.
Customized trainings cover everything from a basic oversight briefing for new staff, to a primer on the functions and history of an agency, to a brush up on interview techniques. Drawing on the expertise of a broad network of accomplished investigative and oversight veterans, the Congressional Oversight Initiative can help brief staff on the information they need to conduct the oversight that members of Congress, and the American people, deserve. POGO is also able to host virtual briefings when circumstances require it.
For more information, contact Aisha Shafi at [email protected].
Federal Staff Trainings
POGO also offers oversight trainings, on request, to small groups within the executive branch of the federal government. These trainings mainly cover the topics of whistleblower rights and legal protections, as well as best practices for safely disclosing instances of waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. To inquire, please email Aisha Shafi at [email protected].
The Latest from the Congressional Oversight Initiative
Read our most recent work on congressional oversight.
Oversight Boot Camps foster bipartisan, in-depth investigations and help create better trust and working relationships between staffers from both sides of the aisle and both chambers.
Since 2006, POGO has been training congressional staff on how to conduct effective oversight. New data shows it’s working.
Read our top resources for congressional oversight staff.
We’ve developed a congressional oversight handbook to help improve the quality of oversight activities on Capitol Hill.
Supplemental to The Art of Congressional Oversight handbook, this workbook provides templates and tips that guide investigators through the steps of an oversight investigation.