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Project on Government Oversight

Treasury Department IG Temporarily Oversees Bailout

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December 2, 2008

POGO has obtained a letter sent from Treasury Department Inspector General Eric Thorson to several Members of Congress involved in oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and other bailout-related efforts.  In the letter, Mr. Thorson makes clear that even though Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP), has not been confirmed, the program is not wholly lacking in oversight.

Thorson points out that Treasury asked his office "to monitor the program until the SIG TARP became operational."  Thus, his staff have been meeting with TARP officials and collecting information, and, he reports, have "received excellent cooperation."  He is even "gearing up to provide the Congress with the first 60 day report that the SIG TARP is required to file."  However, Thorson also makes clear that he still has many other audit and investigative duties, and that managing two jobs will be a challenge.

In a letter sent last week to several congressional committees, POGO raised concerns about the stunning lack of transparency in the bailout program.  POGO has also called attention to the ongoing delays in getting the SIGTARP confirmed and up-and-running. 

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.