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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-After America’s Community Bankers requested House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) to seek a Government Accountability Office study into NCUA’s staffing shortage, the agency ended the year with a savings of 27,000 exam hours. NCUA said that it performed 598,636 hours of examination and supervision compared to its budgeted 625,350 hours for a savings of 4.3%. In 2003, the agency had a 6.9% savings in exam hours and 6.8% in 2004. NCUA credited 23,940 hours of the difference to mergers and conversions, necessitating less examination time, and agency efficiencies. NCUA Director of External Affairs Nicholas Owens stated, “NCUA strives to efficiently use its resources and we often beat our budget figures. We have successfully been under budget for the last few years.” He called NCUA’s 4.3% savings in 2005 “a realistic improvement on our beginning of the year estimates.” Late last year, ACB had asked Oxley to request the GAO study on NCUA’s staff vacancies, which have run a bit higher than other federal banking regulators in the last couple years. So far, ACB has not gotten a response, according to a spokesman for the lobby group. At the July 2005 NCUA Board meeting, then-Board Member Debbie Matz raised the issue of a 7,500-hour exam deficit, but the agency ended the year with no deficit. “Our resource management process is dynamic by design,” Owens explained. “At the beginning of each year, we plan for exam and supervision plus special projects and events. We shift our resources throughout the year to ensure all material aspects of our workload are covered. Our ability to efficiently manage resources is reflected in the operating funds charged to credit unions.”

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