The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) was established by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA).
Under EESA, the Special Inspector General has the responsibility, among other things, to conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of the purchase, management, and sale of assets under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
SIGTARP’s mission is to promote economic stability by maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of TARP and to protect the interests of those who fund TARP – American taxpayers.
This mission is achieved by ensuring the transparency of TARP, providing effective oversight in coordination with peer institutions, and pursuing robust criminal and civil enforcement against those who waste, steal, or abuse TARP funds.
Promoting transparency in the management and operation of TARP is one of SIGTARP’s primary roles. Through EESA, the American taxpayer has been asked to fund - to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars - an unprecedented effort to stabilize the financial system and promote economic recovery; in this context, the public has a right to know how that money is being spent. Transparency is a powerful tool to ensure that all those managing TARP funds will act appropriately, consistent with the law and in the best interests of the country.
SIGTARP plays a vital role in promoting the economy and efficiency in the management of TARP and views its oversight role both prospectively (by advising TARP managers on issues relating to internal controls and oversight, for example) and retrospectively (by assessing the effectiveness of TARP activities over time and suggesting improvements and making recommendations for positive change). SIGTARP also closely coordinates its oversight activities with the other TARP oversight bodies to ensure maximum oversight coverage and to avoid redundant and unduly burdensome requests.
SIGTARP’s third primary role is to prevent, detect and investigate cases of fraud, waste and abuse of TARP funds and programs. SIGTARP, through its own investigative resources and through partnership with other relevant law enforcement agencies, is committed to robust criminal and civil enforcement against those, whether inside or outside of Government, who waste, steal or abuse TARP funds.