ALEXANDRIA, Va.-A recent legal opinion letter from NCUA (03-0106) answered several questions regarding federal credit union election procedures. First, NCUA Associate General Counsel Sheila Albin wrote, a federal credit union may require a member to provide their full name, address, phone number, and a signature to match the signature the institution has on file for account transactions on a petition to nominate a candidate to the board. However, a federal credit union requiring a member to include a share account number on a nomination petition for a board member violates NCUA’s Guidelines for Safeguarding Member Information and guidance on preventing identity theft. Albin also wrote that it is acceptable for directors and supervisory committee members to also serve on the nominating committee; for the board to appoint a publicity committee to promote candidates nominated by the nominating committee using the federal credit union’s funds; for a current board member to serve as vice president of marketing, a compensated position that also encompasses promoting board elections. “There is no prohibition on a board member serving as an employee of the FCU, unless prohibited by the number limitation in the FCU’s bylaws. FCU Bylaws, Article VI, Section 2. An FCU selects the number of directors it permits to serve as paid employees but is limited by the bylaws to less than a majority of the board,” Albin’s letter read. In addition, it is NCUA policy not to get involved in election or bylaw disputes unless the alleged violation poses a safety and soundness concern or is a violation of the FCU Act or NCUA’s regulations. Finally, NCUA has no jurisdiction over the company hired by a federal credit union’s board of directors to tally election ballots, and if there is a concern Albin advised obtaining legal counsel. [email protected]

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