GAO finds internal financial issues at CFPB

A report by the Government Accountability Office revealed several internal issues at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that could hinder the watchdog’s ability to meet its internal control goals.

The GAO said in its report that while the concerns do not represent “material weaknesses or significant deficiencies,” the office “believe[s] they warrant management’s attention and action.”

The GAO studied the effectiveness of the CFPB’s internal financial reporting and compliance with certain regulatory provisions last year. Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the GAO is required to evaluate and audit the agency’s annual financial statements.

The report recommended that CFPB Director Richard Cordray direct the agency’s CFO to finalize accounting procedures and clearly outline the responsibilities of personnel to ensure accountability. Additionally, the report made several recommendations regarding the agency’s CFO responsibilities in ensuring the vigilant reporting of finances and expenses.

“These recommendations are intended to improve management’s oversight and controls and minimize the risk of misappropriation of assets, misstatements in the CFPB’s accounts and financial statements and unidentified vulnerabilities over the security of its data,” the report said.

The GAO report on CFPB finances released last year said that the agency’s financial statements were “fairly presented in all material aspects,” adding that the CFPB “had effective internal control over financial reporting” and had “no reportable instances of noncompliance.”

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