The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "Project on Government Oversight" ...
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has been investigating federal royalty collections since 1995. Oil and gas royalty collections make up the second largest source or government revenue, but throughout POGO's investigations, there have been many concerns as to whether the federal government is collecting all of the money that oil and gas companies owe to taxpayers for drilling on federal lands. Based upon talking to insiders with the Department of the Interior (DOI), POGO conducted the first study to link the management problems that plague the agency with the structural design of the Royalty-in-Kind (RIK) program, as advocated by the oil and gas industry. This series of stories investigated royalty collection at DOI, with a sharp focus on the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and their management of Royalty-In-Kind program. The series found that not only did MMS have an overly close relationship with the industry that they were supposed to be overseeing, but that industry influence had been pervasive and could be traced from the program's inception through its expansion into the full-blown program that exists today. Additionally, the series of stories found that there are extensive inappropriate auditing of royalty payments between MMS employees and the oil and gas industry, insufficient auditing of royalty payments, serious mismanagement of the RIK program, and a debilitating lack of transparency in the program. These findings call the legitimacy of the RIK program into question, and particularly raise questions as to whether this program can effectively pursue royalty collection on behalf of taxpayers.
In June 2008, sources came to the Project on Government Oversight about the Air Force wasting taxpayer funds. They presented documents and e-mails that raised questions about two little-known programs to build "world-class" luxury aircraft accommodations for the military and senior civilian leadership. The accommodations -- called SLICC (Snior Leader In-transit Conference Capsule) and SLIP (Senior Leader In-transit Pallet) -- were justified as filling a "deficiency gap," but e-mails obtained by POGO showed that there was significant internal dissent within the Air Force over this extravagant waste of taxpayers' funds. Requirements documents obtained by POGO emphasize the need for "aesthetically pleasing" accommodations. E-mails obtained by POGO state that Air Force generals upgraded the leather, carpet, and wood choices, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the program cost. After the first FLIP was procured, General Robert McMahon expressed dissatisfaction with the color of the seat leather and type of wood used. He directed that the leather be reupholstered from brown to Air Force blue leather, and requested to replace the wood originally used with cherry. Internal Air Force e-mails make it clear that the Air Force leadership's overriding concern us SLICC's level of luxury. Contract documents obtained by POGO revealed that these accommodations do not provide any additional operational capabilities (e.g. communications advantages) beyond those currently existing.
The Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD) is a Web-based resource that tracks the civil, criminal, and administrative misconduct of the federal government's largest suppliers of goods and services. POGO created the FCMD to ensure that the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars the federal government awards every year in contracts (over $530 billion in fiscal year 2008) go to companies with solid records of responsibility, integrity and performance. POGO developed the FCMD because government contracting officers are required by law to award contracts to responsible vendors only but lack a centralized repository of information on vendors' misconduct histories. To make decisions that are in the best interest of the public and prevent fraud, wasted and abuse, the government must have as much information as possible reflecting the past performance and responsibility of prospective vendors. The FCMD provides this information free to the public in a concise and user-friendly format. The FCMD spotlights each of the top 100 federal contractors. It complies each contractor's instances of misconduct -- actual and alleged -- dating back to 1995. In addition to misconduct instances, the FCMD includes primary source documents and links to the contractors' Web sites, annual reports, SEC filings, and lobbying and campaign finance information. Search and sort features allow users to search the data for key words, or to organize the data in interesting ways. The FCMD is an evolving resource. POGO continually adds and updates instances and contractor information. POGO also periodically updates the contractor list to reflect the most current fiscal year ranking. Each year, the roster of contractors will change, but POGO will keep all old rankings on a special archive page so that eventually the FCMD will include hundreds of contractors.
"In a year-long series of stories for World News and Nightline, ABC News' chief investigative correspondent and his team reported on a pattern of unbecoming and unethical behavior in offficial Washington that culminated in the revelation's of Congreeman Mark Foley's sexually-explicit internet messages with high school students who served as Congressional pages." Stories in the series also examine some of the consequences from the lack of an ethics code for the Supreme Court and a probe of unethical behavior of a retired U.S. General.
Tags: broadcast; financial disclosure forms; lobbyist Jack Abramoff; Congressman Tom Delay; Congressman Mark Foley; instant messaging; Congressional Pages; House Ethics Committee; Kyle "Dusty" Foggo; CIA; Air Force; Department of Defense Inspector General's Office; Federal Election Commission; Political Money Line; Federalist Sociey; legal ethics; Supreme Court; Congress; Pentagon; influence peddling; FBI; IRS; Brent Wilkes; Taxpayers for Common Sense; Keith Ashdown; Porter Goss; Thunderbirds; General T. Michael Mosely; Senator Tom Coburn; General Hal Hornburg; Project on Government Oversight; Danielle Brian; U.S. Trademark Office; General John Jumper; Blue Angels; midterm elections; access; Campaign Legal Center; Gerry Hebert; pay to play; House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children; sexually explicit messages; sexual exploitation; graphic language; solicitation; Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert; Internet sex; FBI investigation; Congressman Tom Reynolds
Chicago Reporter looks at how "$780 million was doled out of Illinois over the past two years." The money was portion of the $12-billion Illinois Fund for Infrastructure, Roads, Schools and Transportation (FIRST), the story reveals. The millions were given to political party leaders to spend on projects aimed to boost legislators in politically vulnerable districts. Lawmakers in white districts received more than those in black and Latino districts, the publication reports. A major finding is that, at the time when Illinois entered a fiscal crisis, the "decisions about who got the money and for what projects were settled behind closed doors, without public oversight."
The Wall Street Journal examines evidence that al Qaeda, the organization of Osama bin Laden, has tried to obtain weapons-grade nuclear material. The article looks at the possibilities for terrorists to build nuclear weapons by using resources of current or former nuclear-power countries. Even though the reporters have found the evidence related to al Qaeda to be "sketchy and unverified ... it has sent authorities around the world rushing to shore up security measures that are in some cases surprisingly weak." The story finds that "armed guards at nuclear-weapons depots often lose in exercises with mock assailants," and that "materials for making a nuclear bomb are accessible enough to support a black market."
Tags: Osama bin Laden; terrorism; al Qaeda; uranium; International Atomic Energy Agency; United Nations; Exelon Corp.; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; college students; Energy Department; TNT; Defense Department; U.S. Customs Service; ex-Soviet republics; military; Project on Government Oversight