12 CFR 1209.14 - Ex parte communications.
(1)Ex parte communication means any material oral or written communication relevant to an adjudication of the merits of any proceeding under this subpart that was neither on the record nor on reasonable prior notice to all parties that takes place between:
(ii) The presiding officer handling that proceeding, the Director, a decisional employee assigned to that proceeding, or any other person who is or may be reasonably expected to be involved in the decisional process.
(2) A communication that is procedural in that it does not concern the merits of an adjudicatory proceeding, such as a request for status of the proceeding, does not constitute an ex parte communication.
(b)Prohibition of ex parte communications. From the time a notice of charges commencing a proceeding under this part is issued by the Director until the date that the Director issues his final decision pursuant to § 1209.55 of this part, no person referred to in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section shall knowingly make or cause to be made an ex parte communication with the Director or the presiding officer. The Director, presiding officer, or a decisional employee shall not knowingly make or cause to be made an ex parte communication.
(c)Procedure upon occurrence of ex parte communication. If an ex parte communication is received by any person identified in paragraph (a) of this section, that person shall cause all such written communications (or, if the communication is oral, a memorandum stating the substance of the communication) to be placed on the record of the proceeding and served on all parties. All parties to the proceeding shall have an opportunity within 10 days of receipt of service of the ex parte communication to file responses thereto, and to recommend sanctions that they believe to be appropriate under the circumstances, in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.
(d)Sanctions. Any party or representative for a party who makes an ex parte communication, or who encourages or solicits another to make an ex parte communication, may be subject to any appropriate sanction or sanctions imposed by the Director or the presiding officer, including, but not limited to, exclusion from the proceedings, an adverse ruling on the issue that is the subject of the prohibited communication, or other appropriate and commensurate action(s).
(e)Consultations by presiding officer. Except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law, the presiding officer may not consult a person or party on any matter relevant to the merits of the adjudication, unless upon notice to and opportunity for all parties to participate.
(f)Separation of functions. An employee or agent engaged in the performance of any investigative or prosecuting function for FHFA in a case may not, in that or in a factually related case, participate or advise in the recommended decision, the Director's review under § 1209.55 of the recommended decision, or the Director's final determination on the merits based upon his review of the recommended decision, except as a witness or counsel in the adjudicatory proceedings. This section shall not prohibit FHFA counsel of record from providing necessary and appropriate legal advice to the Director on supervisory (including information or legal advice as to settlement issues) or regulatory matters.