U.S. Treasury Had Only 1 Day to Review Solyndra Loan

The department performed a self-audit after criticism began to grow.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Solyndra books were investigated for one day by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury.

    The U.S. Treasury's examination of the $535 million Solyndra loan was "rushed," according to a report issued this week by the Treasury's inspector general. The accusation has led to more finger pointing on Capitol Hill.

    The Treasury audited itself after "heightened media attention and congressional inquiries surrounding Solyndra’s loan," the report reads.

    It found inspectors were given only one day to examine Solyndra's books before the Department of Energy issued a press release announcing the loan. While critics -- and Republicans in particular -- point to the revelation as another example of wrongdoing, it's not entirely clear what the Treasury's role in the Solyndra loan was supposed to be in the first place.

    Looking back at its own work, the department says it's not even sure if it "met the intent of the applicable law and regulation" because "Treasury's consultative role was not sufficiently defined."

    The Solyndra loan was entirely backed by the Department of Energy under the authority of the American Reinvestment Act; Treasury's role was simply to disburse the money.

    The specific language of the law says: "the Secretary [of Energy] shall make [loan] guarantees... as the Secretary determines, after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury… .”

    The problem, says the inspector general, is no one is sure what "consultation" meant.

    Though it was rushed, the Treasury says it had enough time to find flaws in Solyndra's finances but cannot find any evidence the Department of Energy considered or even noticed those concerns.

    Solyndra was touted by the Obama administration as a prime example of how green technology could deliver jobs.

    The President visited the facility in May of 2010 and said "it is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. And you guys all represent that. "

    The company shut its doors in September of 2011.