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TARP Oversight Report

TARP Oversight Report

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Published by Milton Recht
Congressional Oversight Panel October 2010 TARP Report Examining Use of Private Contractors
Congressional Oversight Panel October 2010 TARP Report Examining Use of Private Contractors

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Published by: Milton Recht on Oct 14, 2010
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Decisions to task financial agents differ from contracting services, reflecting the

recognition that contracting involves the “acquisition of goods and services from the
marketplace,” whereas financial agents “serve as an extension of Treasury to act on behalf of the
Government in order to address the unique and often urgent needs of TARP and OFS.”65

When determining whether to contract services, the following questions, outlined in
Treasury testimony, are most important:

(1) Are the required goods and/or services other than something that is inherently

(2) Can the services be obtained at a competitive price from the private sector?

(3) Can the services be acquired without creating an immitigable conflict of interest?

(4) Will it be more cost-effective, for duration or other reasons, to outsource the work?66

The decision to employ a financial agent focuses on the following two factors:

(1) Does the work entail the direct management of public assets, such as the purchase,
valuation, custody, or disposition of investments or cash? (Financial agent authority is
used to obtain the infrastructure, inherent capabilities, or special expertise of a financial

(2) Does the work entail close collaboration between Treasury and a provider such that a
fiduciary relationship is required? Simply put, does OFS require the services of an agent
who can act as an extension of Treasury?67

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