WASHINGTON (3/2/15)--Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) wants the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the National Credit Union Administration's budgeting practices and identify ways the agency can increase the transparency of its process to its regulated credit unions, the U.S. Congress and the public in general. It is a goal strongly advocated by CUNA and the trade association has worked steadily toward that end since the NCUA ceased its budget-hearing process in 2009.
On Friday, Mulvaney introduced The NCUA Budget Transparency Act (H.R. 1176).
CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan said that the introduction of the bill, combined with the interest in the budget transparency issue following the recent Senate Banking Committee hearings on regulatory relief for credit unions and community banks, is further evidence that there is congressional interest in how NCUA is using the funds that credit unions--and by extension their members--send the agency and whether the agency is sufficiently taking into consideration stakeholder concerns.
"CUNA has suggested that one small step NCUA could take in an effort to improve the budget process would be to resume the budget hearings that were conducted for several years.
"This proposal is one that has resonated with members of Congress, of course, because they receive similar stakeholder input on a regular basis through the hearing process on Capitol Hill. A budget hearing wouldn't be burdensome to the agency or the board members, but it would be a meaningful step the agency could take to send the signal that they understand the concerns credit unions have regarding the increases in the budget and the use of the resources credit unions provide," Donovan emphasized.
If enacted, the Mulvaney legislation would require the GAO to report its findings to federal lawmakers within 18 months of enactment.