On September 30, the Office of the Inspector General released its report of the four major management challenges facing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including ensuring an effective information security program, building and sustaining a high-performing and diverse workforce, strengthening controls over management operations, and maintaining physical infrastructure.  Through the use of audit and evaluation work performed by the Inspector General and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, along with CFPB documents, the Inspector General identified these four challenges that, if not addressed, are most likely to hamper the Bureau’s success. 

The first challenge is ensuring an effective information security program against the growing concern of cyber-attacks.  The report recognizes the need to strengthen the Bureau’s defenses against such threats and to protect personally identifiable information.  Recommendations for improvement include continuous monitoring, configuration management, security training, and incident response and reporting.  

Secondly, the report suggests that building and sustaining a high-performing and diverse workforce is another major challenge for the CFPB.  The Bureau must evolve with the expectations of today’s modern workforce.  To address these issues, the CFPB has already made a number of improvements to its human capital processes, including a two-and-a-half year agency-wide research effort to develop more robust competency models for all CFPB positions.  

As to the third major management challenge, the Inspector General highlights the importance of internal controls in the Bureau’s mission of providing effective oversight of the consumer financial marketplace.  The report recommends that the CFPB improve its internal controls, including implementing management processes and controls, and establishing clear roles and responsibilities within its workforce.  

Finally, with regards to the fourth challenge, the report notes that the CFPB is currently in the middle of a multi-year renovation project of its headquarters building.  In a recent audit, the Inspector General found that the construction costs appear reasonable, and project decisions are designed appropriately.  However, the completed headquarters will not accommodate all employees, and thus the CFPB must determine another optimal location for these displaced employees.