Keeping It Sunny at the CFPB

What do tap water, your eyeglasses, and the Consumer Bureau all have in common?

They’re all better when they’re transparent!

Okay, that was a pretty bad joke. But it reflects something we take very seriously here at the Bureau: That transparency is a core value, and that living by it will make us a better agency. Being transparent and open to the public encourages greater accountability, and helps us achieve our most important job: making markets for consumer financial products and services work for you.

Last month, we blogged about our commitment to making sure it’s always “sunny” at the CFPB. We have already begun posting Professor Elizabeth Warren’s calendar online every month – which, it turns out, is more complicated than you might think. We’ve shared analysis and raw data about how the Credit CARD Act has impacted consumers. We even launched this website by responding directly to your suggestions.

We think that’s a pretty good start, but it’s just that – a start. Most of the real work of building an open, transparent Consumer Bureau is still ahead of us.

That’s why we’re so excited that later today, some of the Bureau’s senior staff, including Professor Warren, will meet with a group of experts who have given these issues a lot of thought. We’ve invited representatives from open government organizations to the Bureau to get their ideas about effective ways to inform members of the public about the activities of their government. The groups we’re meeting with include Public Citizen , OpenTheGovernment.org , Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington , Judicial Watch , the Sunlight Foundation , the Project on Government Accountability , and OMB Watch . That’s a lot of transparency brainpower in one room, and we’re eager to hear what this group has to say. In keeping with the spirit of openness, we’ll report back to you next week on what we heard.

We’d also love to hear your suggestions about transparency at the Bureau, so if you have a specific idea, please feel free to drop it in the comments section below. We’re always looking for helpful ways to keep it sunny here at the CFPB.

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