On February 21, the CFPB released its fifth Request for Information (RFI) in a series seeking feedback on the bureau’s operations. This RFI solicits public comment on how the Bureau can best “conduct future external engagements while continuing to achieve the Bureau’s statutory objectives.” According to the RFI, the Bureau’s “external engagements” are public and non-public meetings, including: field hearings, town halls, roundtables, and meetings of its advisory board and councils. The Bureau is required by the Dodd-Frank Act to have a Consumer Advisory Board. The Bureau has also chosen to form three advisory councils: the Community Bank Advisory Council, the Credit Union Advisory Council, and the Academic Research Council.
The RFI broadly requests feedback on all aspects of these external engagements but also highlights specific topics on which comment is requested, including (i) strategies for seeing feedback from diverse external stakeholders; (ii) information related to the methods, such as town halls and field hearings, the Bureau uses to receive feedback; (iii) the current process for transparency in the details of the events; (iv) strategies for promoting transparency while protecting confidential business information; and (v) other approaches not currently utilized by the Bureau. The RFI is expected to be published in the Federal Register on February 26. Comments will be due 90 days from publication.