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Project on Government Oversight




Spy Chief Nominee Recognizes "Useful Purpose" for GAO in Intelligence Community

July 21, 2010 


Yesterday, the Project on Government Oversight said that, despite pushback from the Obama Administration, POGO hoped that the vocal support of some key allies would be enough to ensure that Congress passes something this year that clarifies the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) authority to conduct oversight of the intelligence community. And now POGO learns from Steve Aftergood that Obama’s pick to head the intelligence community, Gen. James R. Clapper, thinks the “GAO serves a useful purpose for us.”

Thus, there is a bit of a clash between this new leadership that is open to change and an old guard within the Obama Administration that appears to feel threatened by the auditors at the GAO.

POGO has been talking about the GAO provision with several high-level oversight practitioners and has heard that they were aware of no instance where a GAO employee was to blame for secrecy lapses, whereas they could recall many instances in which Members of Congress, White House personnel or members of the intelligence community themselves did so.

Also another ally: Senator Feingold (D-WI) pledges to fight to restore the “reforms included in the original version” of the intel authorization bill, including the GAO provision.

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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