Inspector General Faults FDIC Crisis Preparedness

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate’s watchdog issued a report Wednesday that found the agency was ill-prepared to function in the midst of a crisis, due in part to lack policies and procedures in place.

The FDIC’s Office of Inspector General review was conducted in 2018 and 2019 was not tied to the coronavirus pandemic, but the findings are relevant to challenges facing FDIC and other federal agencies.

The report found:

  • The FDIC did not have documented policies that defined readiness authorities, roles, and responsibilities, including those of a committee responsible for overseeing readiness activities, in the event of a crisis.
  • FDIC should develop an agency-wide readiness plans that identifies the critical functions and tasks necessary to function, regardless of the crisis – including for divisions and offices.
  • The FDIC didn’t train personnel on the content of the crisis readiness plans that did exist, including their roles and responsibilities.
  • The FDIC should require regular readiness plan exercises and document the results of those exercise.
  • The agency should regularly assess and report on FDIC-wide progress on crisis plans to key leaders, such as the chairman or senior leaders.

“By adopting the best practices reflected in the seven crisis readiness framework elements, the FDIC could improve its ability to respond timely and effectively to a crisis affecting insured depository institutions,” the Inspector General concluded.

The Inspector General report noted that the FIC agreed with seven recommendations, partially agreed with four recommendations, and “provided planned corrective actions and alternative corrective actions that meet the intent of the recommendations.” The FDIC planned to complete all corrective actions by March 31, 2022.