Magazine article American Banker

GAO Helps House Panel in Investigation of Top Credit Union Regulator

Magazine article American Banker

GAO Helps House Panel in Investigation of Top Credit Union Regulator

Article excerpt

Congress has enlisted the General Accounting Office to bolster its investigation into allegations of mismanagement at the National Credit Union Administration.

GAO officials have interviewed the agency's director, Shirlee P. Bowne, and former Director Robert Swan, and are expected to make a preliminary report to lawmakers this week. The accounting office got involved at the behest of Reps. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and Bill McCollum, R-Fla.

Additionally, the staff of the House Banking Committee's general oversight and investigations subcommittee, which is headed Rep. Bachus, is combing through boxes of credit union administration documents subpoenaed last month.

The joint probe is investigating a series of accusations made by Mr. Swan, who charged at a May 1 hearing before Rep. Bachus' panel that administration Chairman Norman E. D'Amours cut other board members out of policymaking decisions.

"As Mr. Swan made these allegations in testimony before the subcommittee, we take them very seriously," the June 12 letter said.

The lawmakers asked the GAO to look into charges that Mr. D'Amours stifled the information flow to the other board members and instructed administration staff members to conduct surveillance of board members. GAO is also looking into claims that administration staffers established agency policies without board approval and illegally solicited contributions from credit unions for agency-sponsored projects.

"If any of these allegations are true, then there's a real problem at that agency," said an aide to Rep. …

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