WASHINGTON (6/10/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and its relevant committees engaged in an information session with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) on the data collection initiative the agency adopted at its last open board meeting. For more than an hour, NCUA Executive Director Len Skiles and NCUA Senior Attorney Tonya Green discussed the details behind the creation of the plan, as well as how the information will and will not be used. Skiles indicated that the NCUA has been involved with the underlying issue of how it can adequately and authoritatively respond to requests for information from Congress and the Government Accountability Office as far back as 1991. He noted that when the agency only produced anecdotal examples of requested information and provided limited membership increases in underserved areas, some members of Congress, their staff, and the GAO were critical of NCUA’s failure to provide statistically valid information on who credit unions serve. Arguably, Skiles indicated, NCUA, as the regulator of federal credit unions, from a regulatory standpoint should provide the information if considered important and helpful to Congress, the NCUA and federal credit unions and if the collection of the information is feasible. The NCUA officials reiterated that the agency will only publish aggregated data, data will be collected only from federal credit unions, and that the information will have no role in credit union examinations. The data collection will not begin until January 2009 and not be completed for 24 months. NCUA’s Skiles and Green also addressed concerns regarding the regulatory burden of the information gathering process for credit unions. The audio conference was hosted by CUNA’s Federal Credit Union Subcommittee and its Chairman, Marc Schaefer. Joining the call were members of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee, Small Credit Union Committee, Community Credit Union Committee, and the Examination and Supervision Subcommittee. Contact CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn at MDunn@cuna.coop with questions regarding the NCUA data collection plan. For more on all aspects of the agency’s plan, use the resource link below to read a complete summary of the audio conference.