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Opinions

NAFCU: NCUA Needs To Improve Its Budget Process

The NCUA recently announced a "savings" of $2 million due to a reprogramming of its fiscal year 2010 budget. Certainly, savings of any type are laudable in these challenging economic times. However, it is likely some savings would have occurred anyway given that a $23 million budget increase this year was based in part on funding 74 new full-time employees, the hiring of which simply could not have occurred in such a short time period.

While we appreciate that these savings will be passed back to federal credit unions in 2011, federal credit unions were in a sense "over-assessed" $2 million in 2010. That said, if operating fee reductions are planned, I wholeheartedly endorse them.

Federal credit unions are already heavily burdened with assessments for the corporate stabilization fund and the NCUSIF, which will likely be with us for the next several years. If ever there was a time for prudent, careful and transparent budgeting, this is it. I encourage the NCUA to better align its budgeting process with actual spending and resist assessing federal credit unions too much. I would also urge the agency to reinstate its annual public budget forum so that credit unions can comment on the budget prior to its approval by the NCUA Board.

Fred R. Becker, Jr., president
NAFCU, Arlington, Va.

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