Bad Watchdog Season 2 launches June 20.

Understanding Agency Objections: From Deliberative Process to Legislative Purpose

Agencies can give many excuses for declining to cooperate with a congressional request. Which are valid and which aren’t? Learn when to listen and when to push back—and get the information your investigation needs.

Sep 16, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


  • Elise Bean, Co-Director, Washington Office, Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy. From 1985 to 2014, Elise Bean worked for Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), including 15 years at the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Appointed as his PSI staff director and chief counsel in 2003, Bean handled investigations into such matters as money laundering, offshore tax abuse, corruption, and corporate misconduct. After Levin retired in Jan. 2015, and the Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy was established in his honor, Bean joined the center staff. In 2015 and 2016, Bean was included in the Global Tax 50, a list compiled by the International Tax Review of the year’s top 50 individuals and organizations influencing tax. In 2011 and 2013, the Washingtonian magazine named her one of Washington’s 100 most powerful women. Bean is a graduate of Wesleyan University and earned her law degree from the University of Michigan.
  • Alan SlobodinChief Investigative Counsel, House Energy and Commerce Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. He has continuously worked on oversight and investigations since joining the Committee staff in 1995. As an oversight counsel, he has worked investigations involving public health, with a particular focus on biodefense and high-containment laboratories, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Among the investigations he has spearheaded are ones involving: opioid distribution, FDA’s foreign-drug inspection program, patient access to experimental drugs, blood safety, counterfeit drugs, issues related to an insider-trading scandal in connection with an FDA-regulated product, and the NIH ethics program.

The session was hosted and moderated by Tim Stretton, Director of POGO's Congressional Oversight Initiative.

This virtual training is only open to staff in Congress, GAO, and CRS. We will record the presentation and may post it publicly. The Q&A portion will be off the record and will not be posted.