<p>ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The NCUA Board has released the agency’s Strategic Plan 2003-2008 Initial Draft for public comment. The plan aims at making NCUA a more forward-looking and responsive regulator, said NCUA. According to the plan, NCUA’s mission “is to foster the safety and soundness of federally-insured credit unions and to better enable the credit union community to extend availability of financial services for provident and productive purposes to all who seek such service, while recognizing and encouraging credit union’s historical emphasis on extension of financial services to those of modest means.” Strategic goals in the plan include sections on financial health; safe integration of technology; providing security and privacy of member data; competitive and innovative regulatory environment; credit union growth and financial empowerment; and enhanced NCUA organizational efficiency and effectiveness. (NCUA has been criticized in recent years for having too large a staff for the number of institutions it regulates. Chairman Dennis Dollar has often talked about making the agency more lean and mean.) In formulating the strategic plan NCUA held meetings with external organizations, including over 200 summit meetings and focus groups with credit union trade associations, state leagues, and individual credit unions. The agency also received several e-mails from credit union CEOs and other interested parties regarding future issues, trends and challenges. All of this and agency experience was taken in consideration in creating the 2003-2008 Strategic Plan. The plan can be viewed on NCUA’s Web site at www.ncua.gov. Written comments should be directed to Director of Strategic Planning James “Tab” Patrick by July 12, 2002.</p>

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