From NBC's Mark Murray
Yesterday, we clipped a Washington Post piece noting that there has been little oversight of the federal government's $700 billion rescue package for the financial industry. "Yet for all this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste," the article said. "Nor has the first monitoring report required by lawmakers been completed, though the initial deadline has passed."
Well, the Treasury Department has pushed back against that report, pointing out in a press release that the department has taken oversight steps.
-- "Treasury worked with Congress to put strong oversight and transparency provisions in the bill and every reporting requirement in the statute has been fully met on time. All reports have been published on the Treasury's website.
-- The law created a new Special Inspector General for the program, and that position has to be confirmed by the Senate. The Administration has been working to identify a qualified candidate and will work closely with the Senate when a nominee is chosen.
-- GAO has been on site from the beginning as Treasury has implemented the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. Within days of the bill being signed, the Acting Comptroller General spoke with Secretary Paulson and with Interim Assistant Secretary Kashkari. GAO has had a team of over a dozen specialists and senior executives working on all aspects of the program. GAO staff typically meets with Treasury staff several times a week. They have access to contract files as soon as each contract is completed, and they often begin their review of those files within 24 hours of a contract signing. Every contract is posted on the Treasury website."