- History of GAP
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Our History and Mission
HISTORY: The Government Accountability Project (GAP) was created in 1977 at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in response to several whistleblowers, such as Daniel Ellsberg, who came to IPS about White House, FBI and Pentagon scandals. Since that time, GAP has served as a lifeline to employees of conscience and has helped them release critical information that serves the public interest and the common good.
MISSION: Our mission is to ensure government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers and presenting their verified concerns to appropriate officials, groups, or journalists. GAP has become not only the most prominent whistleblower support organization, but also an important government and corporate accountability organization both domestically and internationally.
METHODOLOGY: Our change-oriented methodology includes representing whistleblowers, creating an advocacy agenda surrounding their substantiated concerns, and developing, then implementing, broad whistleblower protection policy reforms with extraordinary reach, throughout the nation and around the world. Over the span of almost 40 years we have represented well over 6,000 whistleblowers.
ORGANIZATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: Working with the media, public interest allies, and public officials, GAP and our clients have achieved numerous highly public results. Noteworthy examples include the end of plutonium production in the U.S. before the end of the Cold War; the cancellation of three nuclear power plants under construction, and construction halts at a few other nuclear facilities; the dismantling of several national deregulatory schemes to turn meat and poultry production quality control over to food processors and slaughter houses; the resignation of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz; the end or sharp curtailment in the manufacturing and marketing of several unsafe but widely used drugs, most notably Vioxx and Avandia; the exposure of rampant mortgage and securities fraud at Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, and Countrywide Financial; the exposure of White House efforts to edit science reports summarizing the results of billions of federal research dollars to make it seem like climate change was either not happening or was not caused by human activity; and, the exposure of warrantless and illegal wiretapping and surveillance by national security agencies during the George W. Bush Administration, and the expansion of that activity during the Obama Administration by having represented whistleblowers including Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, and John Kiriakou, to name a few.
TODAY: GAP has had an extraordinary impact in exposing corruption, releasing critical information that the public needs and has a right to know, and holding the federal government and corporations accountable to the highest standards of justice, integrity and transparency. As our reputation has continued to significantly expand here and abroad, we are increasingly receiving requests for our assistance from whistleblowers, other public interests advocates, policymakers and the media.