Experts discuss major federal grant and equipment transfer programs which benefit non-federal law enforcement, and explain how to obtain information on what particular local agencies have received from them.
- Billy Easley II, Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for Prosperity. A former aide to Sen. Rand Paul, Billy will discuss DOJ's Byrne JAG program, which sends over $250 million to local agencies annually for equipment, technology and more.
- Emily Manna, Policy Director for Open the Government. Emily recently completed a report on DHS-funded state and local fusion centers. Emily will discuss DHS's Preparedness Grant programs, which sends over $1 billion to local agencies.
- Wayne McElrath, Senior Investigative Adviser at POGO. Formerly GAO's Director of Forensic Investigations, Wayne will discuss the Department of Defense's 1033 program, which transferred nearly $300 million in surplus DoD equipment. Wayne was co-lead on GAO's 2017 investigation into the 1033 program.
- Justin Rood, Congressional Oversight Initiative Director, POGO
About the Congressional Training Program
There is no cost for participating in the seminars. They are for legislative branch staff only, are off the record, and refreshments are provided. Seminars will generally be held at noon on a Friday in the Capitol Visitor Center.
True to POGO's non-partisan mission, we strive to ensure that the training seminars have both a Republican and Democratic presenter. We may also include presenters from the GAO, CRS, Offices of Inspectors General, nonprofits, or the media. A schedule of upcoming trainings can be found here.
Congressional oversight is a bipartisan responsibility and effort. Therefore, the Honorary Co-Hosts are Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate. This Congress's Honorary Co-Hosts are Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Jackie Speier. POGO launched its Congressional Training Program in 2006 (then called the Congressional Oversight Training Series) to provide Congressional staffers with exercises, case reviews, and lessons from some of the most accomplished current and former Congressional oversight experts and practitioners from both parties.
More than 2,000 staffers—both novice and seasoned, from Democratic and Republican offices, and from personal and committee offices—have attended these seminars. Below are just a few of the compliments the program has received from attendees.
"Excellent discussion and great guest speakers. Very knowledgeable with good handouts."
"As a new hill staffer, particularly for a committee w/ an oversight role, learning about these resources is so helpful."
"I really enjoyed and benefited from the program. It's been one of the highlights of my tour here."
"Each session gives new ideas as to how oversight can be done—based on the firsthand experiences relayed by the panelist. It helps answer the question: 'Where do we start?'"