By Jim Kouri June 16, 2014
A well-respected, non-partisan watchdog group, currently probing the allegations of misconduct and malfeasance at healthcare facilities run by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department, is refusing to comply with a federal subpoena on Friday ordering the group to reveal the identities of—and information provided by— whistleblowers.
The subpoena demands that the Inside-the-Beltway Project on Government Oversight (POGO) turn over any and all documents and identities POGO received from federal official, rank-and-file employees, and others who had complained to POGO about distressing activities occurring at VA medical facilities. The whistleblowers were assured that their complaints would be kept secret and they would remain anonymous.
According to POGO, the material they received regarding the VA had been digitally encrypted in order to protect confidentiality.
Officials from POGO, a nonprofit group that earned awards this month from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative and business reporting, refused to comply with the order by the VA’s inspector general to turn over the files, POGO spokesman Joe Newman said.