OIG reports NCUA has ‘low risk’ of improper payments; next review due in 2023

The inspector general at the agency that charters, supervises and insures credit unions told Congress this month that the agency’s programs are not susceptible to significant improper payments based on a required review conducted for fiscal 2020.

“The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) annually conducts risk assessments of all its programs and activities,” Hagen wrote in a letter to Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs. “Based on these risk assessments, the NCUA has concluded that it does not have programs that are susceptible to significant improper payments.”

The improper-payments assessment is a statutory requirement for federal agencies. Hagen’s letter to Peters noted the repeal last year of the law that used to govern in this area – the Improper Payments Information Act – but noted replacement provisions in the Payment Integrity Information Act (PIIA) of 2019. No guidance was forthcoming until this March, so the NCUA conducted its fiscal 2020 review using earlier circulars published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The PIIA, the letter explains, requires IGs to annually assess and report on their agencies’ improper payment risk assessments, in accordance with specific PIIA criteria. The NCUA’s 2020 risk assessment of programs and activities shows a low risk of significant improper payments, the IG office noted. Given the low risk, requirements to publish improper payment estimates are not applicable, it said.

The next such assessment under the PIIA is due in 2023, the letter notes.

IG letter