CFPB still holding closed meetings

After the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Credit Union Advisory Committee held another private meeting, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) introduced legislation on Friday that will mandate that the CFPB make all meetings open and transparent.

“The CFPB promises transparency, but practices secrecy.” Duffy, House Financial Services Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee chairman, said. “They promised they were ‘opening these full meetings to the public’ but they’ve gone back on their word.”

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), signed into law in 1972, allows Congress and the general public access to information on these meetings. The only departments that are exempt from this policy of transparency are the CIA and the Federal Reserve. The CFPB is housed within the Federal Reserve, leading the agency to believe it is exempt as well.

“What is the CFPB doing that is on par with the CIA and the Federal Reserve?” Duffy asked. “What exactly is going on at these meetings?’”

Duffy’s bill was first introduced in the 113th Congress when the CFPB denied his request to sit in on a 2014 Advisory Committee meeting. The CFPB then said it would change its policy and open its meetings in compliance with FACA. But in direct violation of the law, Duffy’s request for a copy of the agenda of last week’s meeting was again turned down.