Based on CDC, other guidance, NCUA opens 2nd phase of return to onsite operations

Staff for the federal credit union regulatory agency may volunteer to work onsite, including conducting examination and supervision work at some credit unions, beginning April 11, according to a letter issued Tuesday.

In a Letter to Credit Unions (22-CU-06), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Todd Harper said this Phase 2 of resuming onsite operations is based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

Phase 1 of the agency’s reopening began last July. Then, the agency said that NCUA staff and contractors would be permitted to volunteer to work onsite at credit unions where public health data indicated pandemic conditions had “sufficiently moderated.”

“Phase 2 permits NCUA staff to volunteer to work onsite, including conducting examination and supervision work at credit unions located in counties with low or moderate COVID-19 community levels, as defined by the CDC,” according to Tuesday’s new letter. “Onsite work in counties with high COVID-19 community levels may be allowed when necessary and with prior approval from NCUA management.”

The letter says that during Phase 2, the NCUA will continue to conduct examination steps offsite when feasible and appropriate. “When scheduling examinations, the NCUA will continue to take into account any challenges a credit union is facing, such as the availability of key staff, and will work with credit union management to identify a suitable time to conduct the examination,” it states.

The well-being of agency staff and of credit union employees remains a top priority, the letter states. Additionally, it says agency staff working onsite in credit unions will generally be expected to follow credit union policies related to safety to the extent they exceed the NCUA’s safety protocols for Phase 2. The agency also will continue to maintain heightened safeguards in its own facilities to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors, it says.