‘Condensed’ timeframe doesn’t allow NCUA to analyze budget feedback

December 15, 2021

CUNA is “very concerned with the condensed timeframe” between NCUA’s release of a draft budget and the scheduled vote on the budget at its Dec. 16 meeting, and questions whether additional time is needed for the agency to properly review feedback. The board’s final open meeting of 2022 is Dec. 16.

NCUA released the staff draft budget justifications Nov. 17, a release that also noted the Dec. 8 public hearing date and the Dec. 9 deadline for written comments.

“Excluding weekends and the Thanksgiving holiday, there was less than two weeks between release of the draft budget and the deadline for written comments,” the letter reads. “Such an abbreviated comment period makes it difficult, if not impossible, for most stakeholders to fully analyze and comment on the draft budget.

“Even more concerning is the single week between when public testimony was presented (and written comments were due) and the vote on a final budget, which is scheduled for this Thursday’s open Board meeting,” it adds. “We question the agency’s ability to incorporate substantive comments into a final draft in just a single week. This in no way questions the caliber of employees at the NCUA, rather it reflects the difficulty any organization—and particularly a governmental organization—encounters when attempting to implement changes on complex issues in a very limited window.”

CUNA adds that if the Board determines more time is necessary, it believes it may be appropriate to remove the vote from this week’s board meeting agenda.

“Instead, the Board may choose to take additional time over the next few weeks to adequately update the budget to reflect input received, and then hold a special meeting to conduct a vote on the budget,” the letter reads.

CUNA expressed numerous concerns with NCUA’s budget during both the public budget briefing and in its written comments.