NCUA’s Johnson Assures Congress OnImpartiality

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WASHINGTON - (03/27/06) – Faced with new congressionalcriticisms, NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson assured a key lawmakerFriday that the agency’s member service data collection,undertaken to measure credit union service to the underserved, willbe conducted in an unbiased and scientific manner. Johnson, inresponding to criticisms by California Congressman Bill Thomas,chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, saidanecdotes of credit union service will not be part of the datasurvey”Data is data: statistical, numerical andfactual,” wrote Johnson in a letter obtained by The CreditUnion Journal. “Episodic or anecdotal evidence cannot andwill not be part of the data.” Earlier last week, Thomasnotified Johnson he has asked the congressional wathdog, theGeneral Accountability Office, to review whether NCUA is properlyindependent and objective in its oversight of credit unions inlight of recent remarks by NCUA Board members suggesting the datacollection represents an opportunity for credit unions toillustrate their good work to Congress. Thomas said such remarksmake him and others in Congress wonder whether NCUA is acting as a‘cheerleader’ for credit unions, rather than a‘vigilant regulator’.

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