Below you can find a list of important institutions, NGOs, and research centers in the field of legislative oversight as well as information on working with whistleblowers.
Partners and Relevant Institutions
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and assists the oversight efforts of congressional committees and individual Members of Congress. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO conducts investigations and audits, and issues testimony and reports with information of interest to Congress. Its website provides information about GAO, its work, and its written products. See also GAO’s Next 100 Years: Oversight, Insight, and Foresight.
The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) is a nonpartisan, independent entity within the executive branch that supports the work of Inspectors General who conduct oversight of federal agencies and report concerns to both agency heads and Congress. The CIGIE website provides information about the individual IG offices. CIGIE also sponsors a free, searchable website containing all IG reports in one place.
The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works directly with Members of Congress and their staffs to enhance their management and operations, including with respect to oversight activities. CMF conducts staff training, conducts research, identifies best practices, and issues reports. Its website provides information about CMF itself, its work, and its written products.
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that supports robust congressional oversight and also conducts its own investigations to expose waste, fraud, and abuse. Among the services it provides are the following:
- Newsletter – POGO publishes The Paper Trail, a twice-weekly roundup of oversight news, events, and analysis, which is free of charge to subscribers. You can sign-up here.
- Oversight Summit Videos – POGO offers a series of free online panels on congressional oversight issues under an initiative it calls the Oversight Summit.
- Training Opportunities – POGO offers a menu of free bipartisan oversight training options open exclusively to congressional staff.
- Oversight Materials – POGO provides a range of instructional materials related to conducting Congressional oversight.
Working with Whistleblowers
- The U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds provides guidance to congressional offices on working with whistleblowers. Key materials include:
- For more information about whistleblowing on the state level, see Whistleblowing Policies in American States – A Nationwide Analysis (pdf) (2019)
- Nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations work with whistleblowers and provide written materials and guidance to government personnel on how to work with them.
- The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has a number of useful whistleblower guides.
- The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) also works with whistleblowers.
- The National Whistleblower Center (NWC), a nonprofit, in partnership with the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund (NWLDEF), a public interest law firm, also works with whistleblowers.
- Empower Oversight, led by former staffers who worked for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), counsels and supports whistleblowers.