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GAO report: FSOC, OFR lack accountability

Spencer Bachus

A report released by the Government Accountability Office on Thursday revealed that the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Office of Financial Research lack an adequate level of accountability, transparency and effective collaboration with other regulators.

“Limits to the FSOC’s and OFR’s transparency…contribute to questions about their effectiveness,” the GAO said, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The GAO said that both regulatory entities need to improve on data-sharing with other financial regulators, set concrete performance goals, communicate with the American public and delegate oversight duties to other agencies.

“Public information on FSOC’s and OFR’s decision-making and activities is limited, which makes assessing their progress in carrying out their missions difficult,” the GAO said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The FSOC has come under fire for not voicing its views on major market events, including the European debt crisis and the collapse of MF Global. The committee has also taken fire for its closed-door deliberations on which financial firms will be subject to stricter oversight.

The GAO, in one of several recommendations, said that the FSOC should maintain detailed records of closed-door sessions as well as develop a communication strategy to better inform and improve upon communications with the American public.

Two key members of the House of Representatives, including Spencer Bachus, chairman of the HFSC, and Randy Neugebauer, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, requested the study.

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