WASHINGTON -- The government's top watchdog over the financial bailouts says he will step down next month. 

Neil Barofsky says in a letter to President Obama that he will leave this job on March 30 as special inspector general for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. A spokeswoman says Barofsky believes the office met its goals. 

Barofsky blasted the Treasury Department in a series of audits of the bailout fund, which pointed out management problems. His investigations led to 14 criminal fraud convictions for bankers. He often criticized the department's refusal to make public its decision-making process. 

The spokeswoman says Barofsky's top deputy, Christy Romero, will become acting special inspector general next month. 

Barofsky is a former federal prosecutor who was nominated by President George W. Bush in November 2008.