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26 Dec 2006

POGO sticks at it

POGO (Project on Government Oversight) is a self-appointed activist body keeping a watchful eye on US government spending and governance issues. It encourages whistleblowers from public service to expose dubious fiscal and environmental practices or corruption, provides support and anonymity. It has been in existence since 1981. "In the beginning, POGO (which was then known as Project on Military Procurement) worked to expose outrageously overpriced military spending such as the $7,600 coffee maker and the $436 hammer. After many successes reforming the military, POGO expanded its mandate to investigate systemic waste, fraud, and abuse in all federal agencies."

POGO encourages and supports whistleblowers in public service: "Whistleblowing is often not easy. Exposed whistleblowers are almost always reprimanded, fired, and/or harassed, even if they have not "gone public" and even if their allegations are proven to be true. It takes a lot of courage and forethought to take on a powerful government agency or a private contractor. The mental, emotional, and fiscal hardships that a whistleblower may encounter should be fully understood before any steps are taken to disseminate information - publicly or not. In recent years, protections for federal employees have been unraveled by hostile judicial rulings. As a result, federal employees have little protections against retaliation."

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