Troubled Asset Relief Program:

Status of Efforts to Address Transparency and Accountability Issues

GAO-09-359T: Published: Feb 5, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 2009.

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This testimony discusses GAO's work on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), under which the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has the authority to purchase and insure up to $700 billion in troubled assets held by financial institutions through the Office of Financial Stability (OFS). As you know, Treasury was granted this authority in response to the financial crisis that has threatened the stability of the U.S. banking system and the solvency of numerous financial institutions. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (the act) that authorized TARP on October 3, 2008, requires GAO to report at least every 60 days on findings resulting from our oversight of the status of actions taken under the program. This testimony is based on our January 30, 2009, report, which is the second under the act's mandate, covers the actions taken as part of TARP through January 23, 2009, and follows up on the nine recommendations we made in our December 2008 report. Our oversight work under the act is ongoing, and our next report will be issued by March 31, 2009. Like the report, this testimony focuses on (1) the nature and purpose of activities that have been initiated under TARP as of January 23, 2009; (2) the status of the transition to the new administration at OFS and its hiring efforts, use of contractors, and development of a system of internal control; and (3) preliminary indicators of TARP's performance.

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