Center for Effective Government

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The Center for Effective Government, formerly OMB Watch, was a liberal think tank and advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.[1] It was focused on government transparency. Founded in 1983, the organization ceased operations in 2016, folding its work into the Project On Government Oversight.[2]


OMB Watch was formed by Gary Bass in 1983 in an effort to increase transparency surrounding the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

OMB Watch changed its name to the Center for Effective Government in January 2013. In March 2016, the organization closed its doors, folding its work into the Project On Government Oversight.


The Center for Effective Government concentrated on four main areas: the role of government; information and access; budget, taxation and government performance; and regulatory policy.[3] The organization's goal was to improve access to decision-makers and energize citizen participation. Charity Navigator rated Center for Effective Government with four stars out of four possible for financial performance, accountability and transparency.[4]

The Center's reports were used by media outlets, such as Politico, when it quoted CEG's second annual performance analysis of the 15 government agencies' processing the most Freedom of Information Act (United States) requests[5] and NGO's like Immigration Impact[6] and in complaints or lawsuits, such as Brown et al. v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection.[6]

Comments by staff were included in newspapers such as the Fiscal Times.[7][8]

CEG gave testimony, submitted comments, statements and questions for the record, to Congress and other governmental bodies.[9]


  1. ^ Hess, Hannah (March 14, 2016). "Think tank focused on government transparency is closing". Environment & Energy News. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Center for Effective Government Closes Doors". Philanthropy News Digest. March 21, 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Center for Effective Government - About Us
  4. ^ Charity Navigator Rating - Center for Effective Government
  5. ^ Josh Gerstein Group gives State Department 'F' on FOIA processing 10 March 2015
  6. ^ a b Wendy Feliz Challenging CBP’s Failure to Respond to FOIA Requests Immigration Impact, 16 March 2015
  7. ^ David Dayen How the Government Is Rolling Over for Big Banks Again. The Fiscal Times, 28 August 2015
  8. ^ Chris Isidore Uncle Sam's outsourcing tab: $517 billion CNNMoney 10 June 2013
  9. ^ Testimony 2004-2015, Center for Effective Government, retrieved 21 March 2016

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