An internal audit conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of complaints filed by consumers identified a number of inaccuracies in the complaint database and the agency is being asked to improve its internal controls to improve the accuracy of the database.
A report of the audit’s findings and conclusions was published last week by the Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board and the CFPB.
Among the findings of the audit were:
- The CFPB’s Office of Consumer Response (OCR) does not review all closing responses provided by companies named in complaints
- The OCR consistently publishes untimely company closing responses in the Consumer Complaint Database.
- The OCR allows 60 days for consumers to dispute company responses, rather than 30 days as required
- Consumers are not consistently offered the opportunity to dispute untimely company responses
- The CFPB did not consistently notify the public when the database was not updated.
The audit reviewed more than 254,000 complaints that were filed with the CFPB through June 30, 2014. The Inspector General’s office made eight recommendations to address the database’s shortcomings.
While none of the findings or recommendations are glaring in nature, the CFPB does hold the database up as a beacon of its efforts to protect consumers. The report also mentioned that the CFPB is replacing the current database with a new version, to be rolled out later this year.