Mission and Values


The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.  

We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles. 

Our Values

At POGO, we believe that our government should work for everyone, not just the powerful or well connected. To ensure our democracy meets its full potential, we promote policies and practices that ensure the federal government operates honestly and effectively, addresses inequity and injustice, and protects our civil and human rights. 

We strive for a healthy democracy, one where those in positions of public trust are held to account by the people they represent, and in doing so oppose authoritarianism and practices that undermine democracy.  

We do not align our work with any political party, and we do not compromise our values to attain bipartisan support for our work. We do work with members of Congress, regardless of party, who are working toward a more ethical, accountable, equitable, and effective federal government, and with those who work to uphold democratic values against authoritarianism. We call out corruption and abuse of power whenever we see it, without fear or favor, and we focus on fixing systemic challenges in our government. 

POGO recognizes that structural discrimination has led and continues to lead to severe inequity and injustice in our country. Abuse of power and corruption disproportionately hurt historically marginalized communities and compound the advantages of those already in power. These harmful practices must be uprooted so that government works for everyone.

Our Approach

POGO’s work to build a government that works for everyone takes several forms. We’re able to maximize impact by employing different strategies in tandem. 

We investigate fraud, corruption, abuse of power, and inequities in federal government policies, programs, and projects. POGO’s investigators are experienced in working with whistleblowers and other sources inside the government who come forward with information. They investigate wrongdoing and publish their findings, and our policy teams often use these investigations to inform their recommendations for reforms.  

We craft and advocate for commonsense policy reforms to make government more effective and more just. We engage with members of Congress and leaders in the executive branch to gain support for policy measures that will improve accountability, reduce corruption and abuse of power, and ensure constitutional rights are protected. Our reputation as an honest broker attracts current and former decision-makers and helps us facilitate conversations and advocacy efforts among likely and unlikely allies across the political spectrum. We strive to work alongside those most impacted by corruption, abuse of power, and constitutional rights violations to create solutions for reform. 

We empower elected members of Congress to act as a check on the executive and judicial branches and ensure we have co-equal branches of government. Through congressional oversight trainings, we offer staffers on Capitol Hill the tools they need to better fulfill Congress’s oversight responsibilities. 

We champion our reforms with individuals across the country who want our government to truly serve the public. As part of this civic engagement work, we offer resources and strategies to help people hold their leaders accountable and advocate for a stronger democracy.