Every April 1, by law, Section 102(d) of the Federal Credit Union Act requires the NCUA board to "make a report to the President and to the Congress."
Once again, April 1 has come and gone and no annual report is in the hands of Congress or the President — let alone credit unions.
This continual failure to meet this statuary deadline poses two overarching questions:
1. Now that the NCUA is fining credit unions that are late in filing quarterly reports, will the board fine itself for being late? And who will pay that fine?
The inspector general?
2. Who is the real butt of the joke?
Congress — who passed the law?
The President — who nominated the board members?
Credit unions — who pay the NCUA’s expenses?
Members — who rely on accountable government to manage their collective funds?
A Solution To An Ongoing Failure
There is an easy solution, readily available to correct this glaring shortcoming. NCUA should outsource the preparation of its annual report. Just as the agency has relied upon external experts for other critical responsibilities — for example, interpreting large credit union stress tests, modeling corporate legacy assets, developing consumer videos, and framing its risk-based capital proposal — outsourcing this difficult task is the tried-and-true solution.
The agency should hire someone who has shown they can meet deadlines and provide incisive commentary. It needs someone who understands the NCUA and its numbers and policies from in-depth, first-hand experience.
The best candidate for this sole-source contract is Jim Blaine [read his blog, Jim Blaine on Credit Unions]. Jim Blaine would submit an NCUA annual report worth reading by everyone: the NCUA board, the President, Congress, and credit unions. And it wouldn’t be a joke.