Example boot camp agenda
At least twice per year, POGO, in conjunction with the Levin Center at Wayne Law and The Lugar Center, offer two-day, intensive training sessions for congressional staff on the art and practice of oversight and investigations. Each of these "Oversight Boot Camps" combines staff from the U.S. House and Senate, committees and personal offices, and the Democratic and Republican parties to produce a bipartisan, bicameral experience. To date, more than 300 congressional staff have completed this training on how to do fact-based, bipartisan, in-depth investigations.
The Oversight Boot Camps are generally offered in February and August of each year during a week when the U.S. House and Senate are both out of session. Each boot camp lasts two full days, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. when in person, and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when online.
Curious about what's involved and what you'll learn? Read the recap of our last oversight boot camp.
Meet the Instructors
Tim Stretton, Director, Congressional Oversight Initiative, Project On Government Oversight.
He trains congressional staff on how to conduct better oversight and investigations by providing information, advice and other assistance. From 2013 to 2019, Stretton served under U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) as an investigator and professional staff member on the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging. There he led investigations into international scams targeting seniors, financial exploitation and elder abuse, as well as prescription drug pricing. Based on these investigations, Tim drafted several pieces of legislation that became law. Tim earned his M.A. in Diplomacy at Norwich University. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine.
Elise Bean, Co-Director, Washington Office, Carl 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 at Wayne Law 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.
Find a full list of instructors on the Levin Center's website.
“This boot camp is a must do for congressional staffers. It gives you easy-to-apply tools and advice for conducting effective, bipartisan investigations and oversight that will stick with you throughout your career on the Hill.”Senate Republican Staffer
Boot Camp Materials
Guide for creating an investigative plan
Guide for creating a report outline
Guide for creating a hearing plan
Guide for creating a follow-up plan
Tips on handling objections to requested information
Hear what past attendees have to say:
“I really enjoyed the POGO Oversight Bootcamp; I thought the structure, the break-out sessions, the role-playing exercises, and feedback were really useful. I would recommend it to staff that are trying to learn more about oversight on the Hill.”
- House Democrat Staffer
“The Oversight Boot Camp provided me with the tools, knowledge, and resources to feel prepared for conducting oversight activities in my current capacity, and made me more interested in pursuing future opportunities for investigations.”
- House Republican Staffer
Want to learn more?
Contact Aisha Shafi at [email protected].