Monday, July 23, 2012

It's A Small World After All....

Conference Center....
Let's flog this horse one more time and then let it go - whaddayasay?  The topic of course is the now infamous NCUA National Training Conference held last Spring at a Disney theme park resort hotel.  NCUA's senior executive leadership has repeatedly pointed out the high value of the conference, their diligent cost consciousness in planning and execution of the meeting, and the dire need for the training given that "new examiners make up nearly 33 percent of our field staff." 

"The 33%..."
Most credit unions can readily attest to the high percentage of novices on "the NCUA team" these days and concur with the obvious need for training.  Some would suggest that the training should be done before "the 33%" is deployed to manage credit unions; but with the rapidly shrinking number of credit unions in the U.S. (losing about 300 per year) the immediate, urgent need for hundreds of additional, untrained examiners is clear.

"M - I - C!.. K - E - Y!..  M - O -..."
Perhaps while appearing a bit too, uncomfortably defensive; NCUA did publish a "budget analysis" of the conference in a May 10, 2012 NCUA Media Release interestingly titled "NCUA Implements New Supervision Manual and Consistent Exam Standards".  And, NCUA made it very clear that the overall cost of the conference ($2,424,221) was brought in "under budget"($2,505,157).  The "savings" of $80,936 is assumed to have been achieved through that hasty, last-minute cancellation of the group cocktail party - an unfortunately sobering thought....

But, in fairness, the conference budget looks pretty mundane with most of the costs going to normal, run-of-the-mill food, lodging, and travel costs.  A couple of categories did seem unusual.  First, the training budget was split three ways: $3,500 for "conservatorship" training, $14,000 for "problem resolution" training, and $309,300 for "Disney" training.  An interesting balance!  Disney training , according to a NYTimes (4/21/12) article, focuses on "making employees smile", "doing lots of little things really well", and "how to give directions by pointing with two fingers instead of one".
That's "the point"...!!!

NCUA has always excelled at "little things", but it is encouraging to know that 1) in the future examiners will be smiling while they fumble around with micro-management and 2) will no longer be doing so while pointing a single finger at the less than impressed, less than amused Boards, staff, and members of America's credit unions.

But, my favorite cost listed in the NCUA conference budget was the "Conference Planning" line item expense:  "$67 was budgeted for conference planning" .... and $67 was spent.  

"$67 for planning"... kinda' says it all about NCUA's priorities doesn't it!!!   A-h-h-h,  FantasyLand.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nothing as really changed at NCUA. Just like the Doctor who gives a "TWO FINGERED" Proctology Examination on guys that resist their advice, NCUA Examiners love to provide a "Two FINGERED" Examination to credit union that wish to think and serve members in ways that work for the members, but not part of the NCUA playbook.

Training new Examiners in the art of the "TWO FINGERED" examination certainly indicates that NCUA wants consistency in there examination procedures.

The press release should have been titled the "Manual Consistent Examination Standards"

Comes with the NCUA Theme Song: "Its A Small Mind After All..."