For over 40 years, POGO has worked to expose corruption and abuse of power, develop commonsense solutions to ensure the government is best serving the public, and engage with policymakers to advocate for change. When we speak, leaders in Washington listen. 

Recent Impact

The POGO team regularly makes progress in our efforts to build a healthier democracy. Here are just a few of our recent breakthroughs. 

In a series of investigations into Joseph Cuffari, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, POGO revealed problems in the DHS watchdog office. Most recently, during a congressional hearing in June 2023, Cuffari admitted to deleting text messages from his government-issued phone. POGO followed up with an investigation reporting that the inspector general’s office learned in late 2022 that Cuffari had deleted the messages without following proper protocol. Despite legal requirements and his own staff’s recommendation that he inform the National Archives and Records Administration of the deletions, we reported, Cuffari did not do so. These revelations prompted two members of Congress to call on the president to remove Cuffari, something POGO has been urging for a while. 

Capitol Police officers on the ground risked their safety and lives to protect Congress on January 6, 2021, but it was clear that the department’s leadership was not prepared for an insurrection. It’s the job of the Capitol Police Office of Inspector General (IG) to investigate and report on why. But unlike most other IG offices, the Capitol Police IG did not regularly release its reports. In the summer of 2022, POGO’s investigators obtained and released one such report, revealing shortcomings in the department’s intelligence assessment before the insurrection. In early 2023, our policy team called on Congress to require more accountability from the Capitol Police IG, and we followed up in April with an investigation on whistleblower retaliation within the department. The following month, in May 2023, the U.S. Capitol Police Office of Inspector General announced that the office would start making its reports available, providing key information and demonstrating accountability to the public. 

A POGO investigation revealed that Joseph Cuffari, the inspector general tasked with overseeing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), suppressed reports on troubling findings about sexual misconduct and domestic violence within the agency’s ranks. Among other shocking information, POGO reported that more than 10,000 DHS employees said they’d experienced sexual misconduct. We also reported that after DHS components substantiated accusations of domestic violence against agents, in at least 30 cases returned government-issued firearms to those agents. POGO’s investigation prompted Secretary of Homeland Security Alexander Mayorkas to begin an immediate review of the department’s misconduct disciplinary processes. Two months later, he announced that the agency would be making “significant reforms.”   

Inspectors general are key to greater government transparency. Working inside of but independent from executive agencies, they inform Congress of waste, fraud, and abuses that harm the American people. However, many of these independent investigators serve at the pleasure of the president. They could be fired any time for basically any reason — we’ve seen presidents abuse this power in the past. And presidents could hold off appointing a new IG for as long as they liked: The Department of Defense recently went without a Senate-confirmed inspector general for nearly seven years. POGO has long worked with lawmakers to advocate for reforms to strengthen protection for these crucial watchdogs. In late 2022, we made important progress in that fight. Congress passed and the president signed a law that included provisions requiring the president to notify Congress before removing an inspector general, to provide “detailed and case-specific reasons” for the firing, and if the president fails to nominate a new inspector general within seven months to provide an explanation to Congress. 

By The Numbers 

POGO supporters across all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, participated in advocacy actions in 2022, sending messages to Congress and writing op-eds urging our leaders to take action on key issues. 

In 2022 POGO’s Congressional Oversight Initiative trained 727 congressional staffers, from the House and the Senate and from both sides of the aisle, on how to conduct more effective oversight. 

POGO provided testimony to Congress 17 times in 2022, informing policymakers of solutions to strengthen ethics at the Supreme Court, enact smarter defense spending, improve police accountability, and more. 

What You’ve Said About POGO

POGO is an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau and has high ratings on Charity Watch, Great Nonprofits, and Charity Navigator. Many of you have been generous enough to leave us written reviews on Great Nonprofits, and we’ve included a sampling below. 

"I follow POGO for their relentless efforts to hold the US govt to account. I'm impressed by their dedication and the breath of their research and commentary. Only wish I had more time to engage with their content."

"I've followed POGO’s well researched advocacy in support of good government for many years. Its reports ensure our tax dollars are efficiently spent. Its watchdog role with oversight and thoughtful testimony helps improve our democracy for all. I’m grateful to POGO for championing ethical leadership."

"POGO takes on what very few organizations (or individuals) seem to care about; the transparency and integrity of our government. I am grateful that they do."

Latest Impact Reports

POGO regularly releases impact reports detailing the work we do to strengthen our democracy. In 2022, we started releasing these twice a year instead of annually. Check out the reports from the past two years. 

For the full archive, visit our Financials page