BGA’s Five Pillars of Action


The BGA's team of award-winning journalists examines the use and misuse of taxpayer dollars in Chicago, the suburbs and the state of Illinois. It exposes misconduct, hypocrisy and waste while also breaking down complex issues through in-depth investigative stories, detailed explanatory pieces and PolitiFact fact-checks. It works independently of the BGA’s advocacy efforts.

The Newsroom is also responsible for the BGA’s publicly accessible Payroll and Pension Databases and several other tools to help the public understand how their tax dollars are spent.

Newsroom Articles


The BGA strives to hold public officials accountable and will at times go to court in order to do so.

The majority of the BGA's cases involve defending public access to documents when government agencies violate the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the state's open records law.

The BGA will also take other forms of legal action as it relates to fulfilling our mission of promoting government transparency and accountability.

Legal Actions


The BGA's Civic Engagement team informs the public and encourages meaningful participation in civic activities. Four programs are designed to deepen the discourse about important civic issues and provide the public with the knowledge and know-how they need to access public information and effectively express their concerns about government.

Civic Engagement


The BGA's Policy team advocates for a more open, accountable and efficient government through public policy reforms.

We work to protect and strengthen open government in Illinois and to propose policy solutions to prevent corruption, inefficiency and waste in government while advocating for more open, transparent and accountable government.

In addition, the policy unit works to protect and strengthen the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act, increase the responsibility lawmakers and public officials have to taxpayers by ensuring a fair and open process for government decision-making.

The policy unit advocates for good government across Illinois by crafting legislation to improve government efficiency and accountability. We track trends and research best practices in good governance policy, and publish thoses analyses and perspectives here on our website, and with media partners.

All Policy Articles


The BGA communicates through hundreds of media stories and appearances with dozens of media partners around the state.

We also share our watchdog work through the following regular features and segments:

  • Watchdog Wednesday at 10:20am on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM
  • Friday Follow up at 1:20pm on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM
  • Weekend Watchdog airs multiple times every weekend on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM
  • Full Disclosure airs Wednesdays at 8:08am on Springfield’s News Talk 907 WMAY
  • Weekend Watch on ABC 7, Saturdays at 8:45AM
  • Madeleine Doubek's column appears every other Tuesday in the Chicago Sun-Times