Non-profit

Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

Website:

www.pogo.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1739443

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $2,504,184
Expenses: $2,928,759
Assets: $3,420,656

Type:

Left-Wing Litigation Group

Executive Director:

Danielle Brian

Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that works to investigate waste, fraud, abuse, and conflicts of interest in the United States government. The organization works with whistleblowers and government insiders to identify wrong doing and works to help implement policy initiatives based on its findings.

POGO is a frequent critic of the U.S. military and particularly how it acquires equipment. The organization has also emerged as a defender of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who defected to Russia with classified documents.[1]

The organization portrays itself as independent by refusing to take money from corporations, labor unions, or the government. However, it accepts donations from left-wing foundations and donors.[2]

National Security and Defense

POGO is best-known for its work in defense and national security issues. It achieved notoriety for publicizing controversial Defense Department spending line-items such as the $435 hammer and $7,600 coffee maker.[3]

It has absorbed the Center for Defense Information, which was formerly a left-wing national security think tank. CDI, through its original parent organization Fund for Peace, had alleged ties to Communist front organizations backed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.[4]

POGO has advocated cuts to the defense budget. In 2012, the organization came in favor of the defense cuts under “sequestration” (also known as “the sequester”) by claiming that they would not affect the economy. [5]

Intelligence Community

In 2014, POGO called for the declassification of materials related to CIA interrogation methods. It drafted a letter that called for the release of the documents. The letter was also signed by the Government Accountability Project, Federation of American Scientists and the liberal legal policy organization Brennan Center for Justice.[6] At the time, the CIA and other defense analysts warned about increased violence towards Americans.[7]

POGO has emerged as a supporter of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden leaked classified information that purported to show illegal domestic surveillance by the NSA. Snowden later defected to Russia after revealing the classified information. POGO at the time said that the American people should focus on Snowden’s revelations and not all the drama surrounding him.[8]

In 2016, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee found alleged that most of the intelligence that Snowden stole and defected to Russia with contained information that threatened the intelligence-gathering ability of the United States and its allies. [9]

In 2016, the Washington Free Beacon obtained a memo from the George Soros-led Open Society Foundations that outlined how POGO and allied organizations such as the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) among others would challenge CIA interrogation policies and protect whistleblowers.[10]

Other Issues

POGO has other areas of focus. It has a Constitution Project which focuses on civil liberties-related issues. It also runs a Congressional Oversight Initiative, which teaches Congressional staffers about oversight powers and how to use them.

Leadership

Danielle Brian is the executive director of POGO. She has served in the position since 1993.[11]

Scott Amey is the general counsel of POGO. He has been with POGO off-and-on again since the mid-1990s.[12]

David Hunter serves as the chair of the board of POGO. Among those who serve on the board are far-left journalist Andrew Cockburn and liberal think tank scholar Norman Ornstein. [13]

Funding

According to POGO’s 2017 Form 990 tax filing, the group raised $6.9 million and spent $3.8 million. [14] The group’s largest expenses were $1.7 million on investigations related to government ethics.

It spent $437,640 on congressional oversight training and $421,668 on defense-related issues.

In addition to support from the Open Society Foundations, POGO has received funding from Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Fund for Constitutional Government. [15] [16] [17]

References

  1. “POGO: Focus On Edward Snowden’s Revelations–Not Distractions”. 2013. Whistle Blowing Today. http://whistleblowingtoday.org/2013/06/pogo-urges-focus-on-edward-snowdens-revelations-not-distractions/. ^
  2. Greenfield, Daniel. 2018. “Kavanaugh Accuser’s Lawyer Is Vice Chair Of Soros Funded Org Opposing Kavanaugh | Frontpage Mag”. Frontpage Mag. https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/271357/kavanaugh-accusers-lawyer-vice-chair-org-opposing-daniel-greenfield. ^
  3. “About”. 2019. Project On Government Oversight. Accessed January 7. https://www.pogo.org/about/. ^
  4. Poole, William. 1979. “The Anti-Defense Lobby Part 1: Center For Defense Information”. The Heritage Foundation. https://www.heritage.org/defense/report/the-anti-defense-lobby-part-1-center-defense-information . ^
  5.  “Right, Left And Middle Agree: Reshaping The Pentagon Budget Won’t Hurt The Economy”. 2012. Huffpost. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/project-on-government-oversight/cutting-defense-spending-_b_1783690.html. ^
  6. “Groups Ask Intelligence Committee To Release Report On CIA Interrogations”. 2014. Constitutionproject.Org. https://constitutionproject.org/documents/groups-ask-intelligence-committee-to-release-report-on-cia-interrogations/. ^
  7. Kutsch, Tom. 2014. “Dueling Political Narratives Surface Ahead Of Torture Report Release”. Aljazeera America. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/12/8/us-torture-narrative.html . ^
  8. “POGO: Focus On Edward Snowden’S Revelations–Not Distractions”. 2013. Whistleblowing Today. http://whistleblowingtoday.org/2013/06/pogo-urges-focus-on-edward-snowdens-revelations-not-distractions/ . ^
  9. “Snowden’s Leaks Caused ‘Tremendous’ Damage To US Security: House Panel”. 2016. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/15/snowdens-leaks-caused-tremendous-damage-to-us-security-house-panel.html . ^
  10. Soros Strategy Memo. 2016. Ebook. Washington, D.C.: Open Society Foundations. http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/soros-strategy-memo.pdf. ^
  11. “Board & Staff”. 2019. Project On Government Oversight. Accessed January 7. https://www.pogo.org/about/people/. ^
  12. “Board & Staff”. 2019. Project On Government Oversight. Accessed January 7. https://www.pogo.org/about/people/. ^
  13. “Board & Staff”. 2019. Project On Government Oversight. Accessed January 7. https://www.pogo.org/about/people/. ^
  14. 2017 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. Project On Government Oversight. https://docs.pogo.org/financials/990/2017_POGO_Form990.PDF?_ga=2.145597234.766371900.1546841158-1184776725.1546841158. ^
  15. “Projects – The Fund For Constitutional Government”. 2019. Fund for Constitutional Government. Accessed January 7. http://www.fcgonline.org/projects/. ^
  16. “Project On Government Oversight”. 2019. Omidyar.com. Accessed January 7. https://www.omidyar.com/investees/project-government-oversight. ^
  17. “Project On Government Oversight – For The Energy And Natural Resources Investigations Project”. 2019. Hewlett Foundation. Accessed January 7. https://hewlett.org/grants/project-on-government-oversight-for-the-energy-and-natural-resources-investigations-project/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1991

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $2,504,184 $2,928,759 $3,420,656 $517,845 N $2,501,280 $0 $32,326 $323,212
    2015 Dec Form 990 $3,598,462 $2,778,941 $3,704,814 $546,695 N $3,574,959 $65 $29,072 $272,716 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,500,608 $2,499,431 $2,921,832 $521,008 N $2,486,429 $122 $20,274 $269,502 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,270,800 $2,510,128 $2,860,347 $539,159 N $2,247,281 $0 $19,416 $263,700 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $898,314 $2,417,545 $2,898,771 $688,984 N $877,245 $0 $20,138 $267,538 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,861,308 $2,185,875 $3,857,008 $270,425 N $1,892,294 $0 $21,948 $272,223 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

    1100 G ST NW STE 500
    WASHINGTON, DC 20005-7433