ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar announced that the agency has scheduled an open Budget Briefing and Public Forum for NCUA's 2002 budget on November 1 at NCUA's Alexandria, Va. headquarters. The agency is inviting public comment at the hearing to be held in the agency boardroom from 2:00 to 4:30. Requests to provide oral testimony must be received by October 25. While trying to obtain all points of view, depending upon the number of requests, NCUA reserves the right to select witnesses. Dollar announced his intention of holding a public budget hearing in June. "NCUA has a solid and effective budget process," Dollar said, "but we have not done a very good job at explaining it to our stakeholders or answering questions about how the budget is allocated and funded. I hope this briefing and forum will help elevate the discussion and bring some of the credibility the NCUA budget process deserves." Credit unions have long believed NCUA's budget, solely funded by credit unions, is set way too high and protest that it increases every year. The trade associations have lobbied for a more open budget process, which Dollar also said he believes will lead to a better understanding between the agency and the regulated. "We eagerly anticipate CUNA's opportunity to provide our views to the agency on next year's budget in this much-needed open and public process," CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica said. "Many thanks and kudos to Chairman Dollar and the NCUA Board for a frank budget proceeding that takes into account the views of the credit union community." NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker added, "We applaud Chairman Dollar's follow-up to his late June announcement of public hearings on the budget. The chairman has stated in a straightforward and common sense way that the agency's budget process needs to be more open to its stakeholders. NAFCU has long advocated such an approach." NCUA staff will explain to the public the process involved in formulating and funding the agency budget, including the items in the budget. Testimony may also be submitted in written form by November 8. Credit Union Times will provide full coverage of the hearing. [email protected]

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