The U.S. Treasury Department lacks the manpower to properly monitor how big companies that got billions of taxpayers' money use it, a critical report on Tuesday from an oversight agency said.
The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Sigtarp) was not meeting its responsibility for monitoring how insurer AIG, Bank of America, Chrysler, Citigroup, GM and GMAC use bailout funds.
Twenty months into its administration of TARP, Treasury simply has no legitimate excuses as to why it has still failed to accomplish the critically important task of assembling a robust compliance staff, the audit report said.
It said Treasury was too slow in conducting compliance reviews with the companies and said it has only begun to review three of the six companies' documentation that shows whether they are meeting conditions for the receipt of funds.
Sigtarp recommended that Treasury independently test whether the companies were living up to conditions that they agreed in return for getting bailout money and repeated that it needs to build up its staff quickly to monitor TARP funds' use.
In a response attached to the Sigtarp report, Treasury said it strongly disagreed with suggestions it was not adequately protecting taxpayers' interests but said it accepted the recommendation about the need for more compliance staff.
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)