Published: Jul 19, 2010 1:02 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 18, 2010 10:02 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog is criticizing the Treasury Department for urging General Motors and Chrysler to quickly reduce the size of their dealership networks -- a move that cost jobs during the recession.
      
The special inspector general for the government's bailout program says the Treasury didn't do enough to make sure that speeding up those closings was necessary for the companies' long-term health.
      
The report says the Treasury's decisions may have contributed to the closing of thousands of small businesses and cost tens of thousands of jobs.
      
GM and Chrysler announced plans to close about 2,800 of their nearly 10,000 dealers last year while in bankruptcy. The companies have restored about 750 that were threatened with termination.