Experienced investigators offer advice in 5 to 10 minute segments on how to conduct effective congressional oversight investigations.
In these Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy tutorials, experienced investigators offer advice in 5 to 10 minute segments on how to conduct effective congressional oversight investigations. The first in the series provides an overview; the others present tips on how to: (1) investigate the facts, (2) write up investigative results, (3) hold a hearing, (4) follow up with reforms, and (5) handle related investigative issues.
Series 1: Conducting the Investigation
- Tutorial 1: Selecting an Investigative Topic (5:53)
- Tutorial 2: Developing an Investigative Plan (8:07)
- Tutorial 3: Using Case Studies (6:44)
- Tutorial 4: Designing an Effective Document Request (8:56)
- Tutorial 5: Conducting Effective Interviews (10:10)
- Tutorial 6: Handling Objections to Information Requests (5:55)
Series 3: Holding a Hearing
- Tutorial 1: Using a Hearing to Effect Change (6:06)
- Tutorial 2: Structuring a Hearing (7:52)
- Tutorial 3: Designing Effective Hearing Questions (7:27)
- Tutorial 4: Designing a Media Strategy for a Hearing (7:17)
- Tutorial 5: Encouraging Media Coverage Before a Hearing (9:18)
- Tutorial 6: Encouraging Media Coverage During and After a Hearing (6:06)
Carl Levin on Oversight
Former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, conducted numerous oversight investigations and hearings throughout his years in the Senate. In November 2018, Senator Levin presented South Carolina State Representative Weston Newton with the Carl Levin Award for Effective Oversight. The award presentation and ensuing conversation can be viewed here:
In the following video series, Sen. Carl Levin recounts the lessons learned from that work and provides insight into what it takes to achieve effective, bipartisan congressional oversight.
- Sen. Carl Levin – 36 Years of Congressional Oversight, Video 1
- Sen. Carl Levin – 36 Years of Congressional Oversight, Video 2
- Sen. Carl Levin – 36 Years of Congressional Oversight, Video 3-A
- Sen. Carl Levin – 36 Years of Congressional Oversight, Video 3-B
- Sen. Carl Levin – 36 Years of Congressional Oversight, Video 4
Elise Bean on Oversight
Elise Bean, director of the Levin Center’s Washington office and author of Financial Exposure: Carl Levin’s Senate Investigations into Finance and Tax Abuse, worked for nearly 30 years doing oversight investigations for U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan. In January 2020, she gave a presentation on the importance of bipartisan, fact-based Congressional oversight, highlighting three case studies from past Levin investigations.