TARP Data Disclosure
Congresswoman Maloney introduced H.R. 1242 in March 2009 because she had read reports about questionable spending by financial institutions, whose funds were unable to be tracked after having received taxpayer dollars through the TARP program. The TARP Accountability and Disclosure Act will increase oversight and ensure transparency in the spending of the $700 billion Congress approved in the fall of 2008. We can and must use the technological tools available in this day and age to provide a complete, real-time picture of how TARP funds are being spent.
Currently, reported TARP data is buried in filings with over 25 different federal agencies and is encased in incompatible systems and formats. H.R. 1242 requires that the Department of the Treasury create a centralized, web-accessible public database system in a consistent, standardized format so that TARP funds will be easily visible and traceable. Treasury will be required to combine the reported government data with data that is collected by independent sources, including corporate press releases, news articles, indexes, corporate profiles, and other non-government financial information. The compilation of government and third party data will create as complete a profile as possible of the institution’s financial application of TARP funds. It will also provide the ability to monitor inconsistencies and indicate the misuse of funds at both the corporate and individual officer level.
In short, H.R. 1242 will provide the kind of transparency for TARP funds that President Obama has promised to deliver throughout the government for the American people.
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“I am tired of reading report after report about the questionable spending by financial intuitions, who have been the recipients of taxpayer dollars, and not having a way to fully track how it is spent,” Rep. Maloney said. “We must use the technological tools that are available in this day and age that will provide a complete picture of how TARP funds are being used in near real time. Such a system would be the most efficient mechanism for oversight, audits and investigations. Currently, reported TARP data are buried in filings with over 25 different Federal agencies, including the Security and Exchanges Commission, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. What’s more, the data are encased within incompatible systems and formats.”