MADISON, Wis. - Kenyan government officials recently traveled toWashington to learn more about credit union regulations and therule making process here. The World Council of Credit Unions hostedthe high-ranking delegation, which included the Honorable PeterKenneth, Kenya's Assistant Minister for Cooperative Development andMarketing; Benjamin Sogomo, Kenya's Permanent Secretary, Ministryof Cooperative Development and Marketing; Justus Kiago, Kenya'sPersonal Assistant to theMinister; and Lina Oching, commercialattach, Embassy of Kenya. The delegation visit was made possible bya WOCCU supporter contribution made by Pacific Service Credit Unionin Walnut Creek, Calif. "It is vital that citizens of every countryhave the opportunity to better themselves financially and creditunions play a central role in attaining that opportunity," said TomSmigielski, president of Pacific Service. "We are delighted thatthe government of Kenya is exploring the contribution credit unionscan make to their citizens and the overall economic development oftheir country." Officials from WOCCU, NCUA, CUNA and NASCUS metwith the Kenyan delegation to discuss their agencies' respectiveroles. The delegation also received an overview the Office ofGeneral Counsel and the Federal Credit Union Act including currentregulatory framework, regulations and rule making process, theadministration, and enforcement powers. The group later focused onanalysis methodologies and tools such as early warning signs,on-site examinations and the AIRES (Automated Integrated RegulatoryExamination Software) system. Other areas of interest to thedelegation were prudential management requirements, loan portfolioanalysis, and problem credit union actions. During their stay inWashington, the group visited the offices of Rep. Brad Sherman(D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Royce (R-Calif.) and along with BruceFoulke, president/CEO of American Heritage Federal Credit Union,met with Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.(D-Ill.) on Capital Hill. Before returning to Nairobi, thedelegation also traveled to Pennsylvania to learn more about secondtier organizations and corporate credit unions. The Kenya Union ofSavings & Credit Coop. Ltd. regulates Kenyan credit unions orsavings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). Kenya has 2,105 SACCOswith a combined asset total of $619 million that serves 1.5 millionmembers.

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