Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., has asked the HUD inspector general to conduct an investigation of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and its release of confidential information about a special examination of Fannie Mae's accounting policies and practices.Sen. Bond contends that OFHEO's March 31 news release, which revealed that Fannie may have to restate its earnings, served no useful purpose and "appears to be a cynical attempt to unfairly influence the political process related to the scheduled [April 1] mark-up of the GSE legislation by the Senate Banking Committee." The Senate appropriations subcommittee chairman also wants the Department of Housing and Urban Development IG to look into the agency's release of a Feb. 24 OFHEO letter to Fannie Mae that raised questions about Fannie's reliance on manual accounting systems. Sen. Bond said it is "highly unusual" for regulators to release confidential examination information, especially when it risks disrupting housing markets and "undermining public confidence in Fannie Mae." Asked whether the HUD IG has initiated an investigation, a spokesman said, "We will perform our function and try to satisfy his request." An OFHEO spokeswoman said the agency has not received an official notice by the HUD IG. "OFHEO has [conducted] and will continue to conduct our activities in a way that is appropriate and necessary to fulfill our mission," spokeswoman Corrine Russell said.

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