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Project on Government Oversight




POGO Requests Ethics Records of Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn

February 4, 2010 


Today the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) sent a letter to the Department of Defense (DoD) requesting information on any ethics decisions or policies created on behalf of Deputy Secretary William Lynn in the past year. Deputy Secretary Lynn, a former Raytheon lobbyist, was the first of President Obama's nominees to receive a waiver from an Executive Order that would require appointees to recuse themselves from work related to their former employer or clients, as well as from matters or issues on which he lobbied.
"POGO worried that the wide spectrum of the work required by Deputy Secretary Lynn's position would prohibit him from conducting work free from conflicts of interest," said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. "We are requesting this information to make sure that the Pentagon did due diligence to ensure no lines were crossed."

POGO's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asks for ethics decisions, ethics or conflict of interest waivers, recusal decisions, and any procedures established on behalf of or as a consequence of William Lynn's previous experience as a lobbyist for one of DoD's top contractors. The request also asks for correspondence or information regarding meetings between Deputy Secretary Lynn and Raytheon.
While the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) did waive Deputy Secretary Lynn from the revolving door requirements of the President's Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI) said Deputy Secretary Lynn would not be exempt from the Committee's requirements that he "recuse himself, for a period of one year, from any decisions involving his prior employer, unless specifically authorized to participate by an appropriate ethics official." POGO is filing its FOIA request as this one-year period comes to a close.
POGO joined a coalition of groups that included the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), Government Accountability Project (GAP), and Public Citizen to oppose Mr. Lynn's nomination in light of the President's Executive Order. The letter they sent to the Armed Services Committee about this nomination can be found here.
Related Resources: McCain Raises Concerns About Former Raytheon Lobbyist's Ability to Be Effective – January 28, 2009; Grassley Says Lynn Waiver "Effectively Gutted the Ethical Heart" of Obama's Revolving Door Ban – January 29, 2009; POGO Releases Lynn's Responses to Senator McCain's Ethics Concerns – February 5, 2009.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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