A new report from the Government Accountability Office is yet another black eye for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The report, titled “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Additional Actions Needed to Support a Fair and Inclusive Workplace,” surveyed all nonexecutive CFPB employees and held one-on-one interviews with 120 staff. The findings are brutal.
About 25% of all black, Asian, and female CFPB employees report being discriminated against. This discrimination was often on grounds of race and gender, the GAO found: “Of the survey respondents who reported that they believed they had experienced discrimination, the most commonly reported bases for discrimination were race or ethnicity (47 percent), gender (47 percent) and age (41 percent).”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, employees don’t hold much faith in the CFPB leadership, either. “Bureau-wide, over a third of employees who responded to our survey disagreed that a culture of accountability exists in which all employees at all levels are held accountable for their actions,” the GAO reported. Further, “about one-third of respondents disagreed with the statement that success at CFPB is based more on merit than on personal connections or favoritism.”
This isn’t even the first time that CFPB has been confronted with evidence that something’s rotten at CFPB. Several CFPB whistleblowers have come forward to tell Congress about the agency’s “culture of intimidation and retaliation.” Let’s not forget that CFPB is the only government agency not accountable to Congress—and its very existence may be unconstitutional.
Unaccountable bureaucrats at the CFPB? Perceptions of favoritism and a poisonous environment? Just another day under the reign of Richard Cordray.