February 27, 2015

Mulvaney bill calls for GAO study of NCUA budget

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., on Friday introduced NAFCU-backed legislation that would require the Government Accountability Office to study almost every aspect of NCUA's budgeting and expenditure practices.

H.R. 1176, the "NCUA Budget Transparency Act," Mulvaney's bill would require GAO to undertake an in-depth review of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, Central Liquidity Facility and NCUA's annual operating budget. GAO would include in its final report any recommendations it had for improving transparency at the agency.

NAFCU, noting credit unions fund the lion's share of NCUA's operations, has been leading a longstanding effort to get the agency to rein in its budget growth and to be fully transparent on its budget and expenditures.

Lawmakers are taking note of this issue. NCUA Board Member J. Mark McWatters has also emphasized the need for budget transparency, pressing the agency to go beyond what has been provided to date.

NAFCU Director of Legislative Affairs Jillian Pevo said Mulvaney's bill would be a key step toward ensuring real transparency at NCUA.

"Rep. Mulvaney and his staff have worked tirelessly to ensure effective congressional oversight of financial regulators," Pevo said. "This bill is an important step toward providing more clarity about how NCUA is spending credit union dollars to fund its operations. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure the study envisioned in this bill comes to fruition."

Beverly Gagne, president and CEO of SAFE Federal Credit Union, a NAFCU member in Sumter, S.C., said she backs the bill.

"I support the 'NCUA Budget Transparency Act' introduced by Rep. Mulvaney," said Gagne. "Full disclosure of NCUA's budget and spending will ensure there are checks and balances that credit unions can trust will minimize costs for them and their members."