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Treasury Still Hiring for TARP

By Ed O'Keefe

Let there be no doubt: the federal government is hiring.

The Treasury Department continues to recruit new employees for the Office of Financial Stability (OFS) -- tasked with implementing TARP -- but it's still short of anticipated needs, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Treasury previously said it will need approximately 131 staffers through a mix of permanent and temporary hires. OFS had 90 total employees as of late January with 38 permanent staffers. Officials recently told GAO that permanent staff has increased to 60.

Richard J. Hillman, GAO's managing director for financial markets and community investment , told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on Wednesday that OFS did a good job of maintaining continuity of leadership during the presidential transition.

"Treasury ensured that interim chief positions would be filled to ensure a smooth transition and used direct-hire authority and various other appointments to bring a number of career staff on board quickly," Hillman said in his prepared testimony.

Hillman cautioned -- as GAO has before -- that "the number of temporary and contract staff who will be needed to serve long-term organizational needs remains unknown. Because TARP has added many new programs since it was first established in October and program activities are changing under the new administration, we recognize that Treasury may find it difficult to determine OFS’s long-term organizational needs at this time."

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 12, 2009; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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