GSEs Spend $600K at MBA Convention Prompting OIG Review
This is the third of three evaluation reports released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding the oversight of activities of the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by FHFA. This evaluation concerns the GSEs participation in the 2011 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Convention and Exposition.
MBA’s event was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago from October 9 to 12, 2011. The annual convention was attended by about 3000 executives who work in mortgage finance including senior managers from major lenders, full service mortgage companies and mortgage brokers, representatives from servicing companies, state and local associations, and affordable housing groups. FHFA personnel also attended at government expense. The GSEs together spent over $600,000 to participate in the convention and 90 GSE employees were registered to attend, 48 for Fannie Mae and 42 for Freddie Mac.
OIG states that, while the expense of the convention was small in relation to all GSE expenses, the money expended did occasion comment and prompt the office to investigate. OIG found that the GSE’s per-capita expenditures for registration, travel, and lodging were comparable to allowable expenses for federal employees however it questioned the $140,000 spent to sponsor the convention and $140,415 for business meals and hosted dinners.