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OIG provides update on CFPB projects

Posted in CFPB Enforcement, CFPB Exams

The updated work plan as of August 30, 2013 of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Fed and CFPB describes various CFPB projects that are “in progress” or “planned.” 

The projects listed as “work in progress” items include:

  • Evaluation of the CFPB’s integration of enforcement attorneys into examinations.  The CFPB’s practice of bringing enforcement attorneys to examinations has been a continuing concern for industry.  In particular, supervised entities worry that the participation of enforcement attorneys in examinations inhibits free and open communication, and signals the CFPB’s intention to use the examination process as a development ground for enforcement actions.  The OIG first indicated in its work plan updated as of
    February 22, 2013 that it was looking into this practice.  The latest work plan continues to describe the  OIG’s objectives as assessing the “potential risks” associated with the CFPB’s practice and the “effectiveness of any safeguards that the CFPB has adopted to mitigate [such] potential risks.” The OIG’s planned completion date is the third quarter of 2013.
  • Evaluation of the CFPB’s hiring process.  The OIG’s evaluation includes a review of the CFPB’s “administration of recruitment and selection incentives to recruit new employees.”  Completion is planned in the third quarter of 2013.
  • Evaluation of the CFPB’s compliance with Dodd-Frank Section 1100G (SBREFA).  Among other requirements, SBREFA requires the CFPB to convene a small business panel before issuing regulations that the CFPB director expects to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small business entities.  Completion is planned in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • 2013 Audit of the CFPB’s information security program.  Each agency’s OIG is required to conduct an annual audit of the agency’s information security.  Both the OIG’s 2013 report on its security control review of the CFPB’s Consumer Response System (CRS) and report of its 2012 annual audit of the CFPB’s information security program found that the CFPB needed to strengthen the security controls for the CRS and also strengthen its information security program.  Completion is planned in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Evaluation of the CFPB’s supervision program.  The OIG’s objectives are to review key program elements, including policies, procedures and examination guidance, assess the approach for staffing examinations, and assess the training program for examiners.  Completion is planned in the fourth quarter of 2013. 

The OIG’s planned CFPB projects include an audit of the CFPB’s public consumer complaint database.  The OIG intends to look at the CFPB’s process for creating the database and the accuracy and completeness of the consumer complaint data available to the general public.  The OIG plans to start the audit in the third quarter of 2013. 

As we reported, in July 2013, a bill was introduced in the Senate that would amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 to create a separate Inspector General for the CFPB who would be subject to Senate confirmation.  Currently, the Fed and CFPB share an Inspector General who is appointed by the Fed Chairman without the need for Senate confirmation.