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Senate Bill Grants TARP IG Hiring Powers

By Ed O'Keefe

Now that the Senate has (finally?) confirmed a special inspector general to oversee the big financial bailout package (known as "TARP"), it's expected to approve a bill granting Neil M. Barofsky (the "SIGTARP") the ability to quickly staff up so he can get the job done.

Neil M. Barofsky
Neal M. Barofsky, the new special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, would get special hiring powers if a Senate bill passes.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), would give Barofsky temporary fast-track hiring authority for six months, powers similar to those once granted to the special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction. After six months, the SIGTARP would have to hire employees through the civil service process. Anyone hired in the first six months would keep his or her job.

The SIGTARP would have to submit a progress report by July 1, 2009, accounting for how the bailout money has been used. The new SIGTARP would also have to coordinate with other inspectors general at the Treasury Department to avoid duplication.

While it's great to know the Senate is expected to pass the bill tonight by unanimous consent, it still needs House approval. It also demonstrates once again that Congress quickly approved the bailout package without sorting out crucial details.

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 10, 2008; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Oversight  
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