The Bush White House today finally named a special inspector general to oversee the Treasury Department's $700 bailout, nominating a New York federal prosecutor named Neil Barofsky. The move comes a day after the Washington Post complained in a Page 1 story that 6 weeks into the bailout, no action on oversight had been taken. If confirmed by Senate, Barofsky, an assistant US attorney, will be responsible for conducting audits and investigations of how the government spends the bailout money.
He will also report on the value of any assets acquired by the government and why they were purchased. Currently, the job is being handled by Eric Thorson, the Treasury's inspector general, who has expressed concerns about the difficulty of properly overseeing the complex program in addition to his regular responsibilities.