(a) The General Counsel and persons acting on his or her behalf and at his or her direction may conduct such investigations into the affairs of any insured credit union or institution-affiliated parties as deemed appropriate to determine whether such credit union or party has violated, is violating or is about to violate any provision of the Act, the NCUA Board's regulations or other relevant statutes or regulations that may bear on a party's fitness to participate in the affairs of a credit union. The General Counsel and persons acting on his or her behalf may investigate whether any party is unfit to participate in the affairs of a credit union, whether formal enforcement proceedings are warranted, or such other matters as the General Counsel or his or her designee, in his or her discretion, shall deem appropriate. Such investigations may be conducted either informally or formally.
(b) Formal investigations involve the exercise of the NCUA Board's subpoena power and are referred to here as formal investigative proceedings. In formal investigative proceedings, the General Counsel and those to whom he or she delegates authority to act on his or her behalf and at his or her direction have augmented investigatory powers and need not rely on the powers available to them in informal investigations, and they may gather evidence through the issuance of subpoenas compelling the production of documents or testimony as well. In informal investigations evidence may be gathered ordinarily through the use of investigatory procedures or credit union examinations and through voluntary statements and submissions.
(c) The NCUA Board has delegated authority to the General Counsel, or designee thereof, to institute formal investigative proceedings by the entry of an order indicating the purpose of the investigation and the designation of persons to conduct that investigation on his or her behalf and at his or her direction. This delegation also extends to the NCUA Board's role as liquidator and conservator of insured credit unions. The power to issue a subpoena may not be delegated outside the agency. The General Counsel may amend such order as he deems appropriate.