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TARP Watcher Empowers Aides

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The Troubled Asset Relief Program special inspector general is giving several of the officials under him the authority to issue subpoenas.

Neil Barofsky, the TARP special inspector general, has delegated subpoena authority to his chief of staff, the deputy inspector general for TARP audit, the deputy inspector general for TARP investigation, and the chief counsel for the TARP inspector general’s office.

The chief of staff, the chief counsel and the deputy inspector general for audits also are getting the authority to ask for information under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(7), according to a notice Barofsky’s office posted today in the Federal Register.

The 552a(b)(7) authority will give the holders the ability to ask for information protected by the Privacy Act for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity, officials say.

Barofsky has not limited his own authority to issue subpoenas or to ask for information protected by the Privacy Act, but the officials who have been delegated the authority to issue subpoenas or ask for private information cannot pass that authority on to others, officials say.

A copy of the notice is available here.


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