NCUA Recommends New Staff Positions: Onsite Coverage
WASHINGTON - NCUA Board Member Michael Fryzel said there is no need for the NCUA to increase the size of the agency’s staff in next year’s budget.
The NCUA board Thursday approved a mid-year net budget reduction of $1.1 million at its monthly meeting. That figure included a $1.525 million decrease in employee pay and benefits from the original 2014 operating budget, credited primarily to vacant positions that have not yet been filled. However, the mid-session budget review also included a recommendation for two new positions.
“I think we have sufficient employees now to operate very effectively,” Fryzel said during a video interview following the meeting. “When I came on six years ago, the budgets had been cut repeatedly over time. We were left in a situation where we did not have enough examiners to adequately examine every credit union every year. Credit unions were being examined 24 or 36 months between examinations and that’s totally unacceptable and a good regulator would not do that.”
However, Fryzel said that situation has been remedied.
“We have the examiners we need to properly monitor credit unions to make sure that if there are going to be losses out there, we minimize those losses to the Share Insurance Fund so I would like to see it kept at the same head level,” he said.
NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger said there were requests from various departments at the agency for positions that the board rejected as part of the mid-year budget. Metsger said the board would likely consider adding those positions in next year’s budget.
“We’re very careful – as you’ve noticed over the last few years – about that budget to make sure we have the tools necessary to meet our statutory responsibilities but we take a fine tooth comb to that and we’ll do that again in November,” said Metsger.
According to the board action memorandum, the two requested positions were not examiners, but instead help the agency meet new demands. The first position would report to the Office of Inspector General and support a substantial increase in congressionally mandated requests and an influx in mandatory audits from legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act. The second position would support the new Office of Continuity and Security Management to handle increased workload associated with new requirements for all federal agencies.
Fryzel reminded credit unions that there would not be a check coming in the mail after the agency’s mid-year budget adjustment.
“Sometimes they get this thought in their mind that there’s going to be a check in the mail coming back to them for what they paid. That’s not going to happen. We’re the federal government. Once we take the money, we never give it back – that’s just way it works,” said Fryzel, adding that the amount will be deducted from the total budget next year.