ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Government Accountability Office's study on NCUA's independence as a regulator has not garnered the attention of the one on credit union service to those of modest means, but it too has a story to tell.

After House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) questioned whether NCUA could objectively gather information on credit union service, he asked the GAO to look into objectivity controls at the agency in addition to its parallel study of credit union service to persons of modest means and executive compensation. GAO found many of the same things in place at NCUA as it did at other similar regulators.

"NCUA has a number of controls and procedures in place that address independence and objectivity of board members that are similar to those at the six other financial regulatory agencies we reviewed," the report read. "Generally, the primary controls for addressing independence and objectivity at all of the agencies are based on the statutory criteria for individual qualifications and composition of the boards and commissions as well as rules promulgated by the Office of Government Ethics." The report compared NCUA with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Farm Credit Administration, the FDIC, Federal Housing Finance Board, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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