Info Memos, Bookletters & Other Guidance
In addition to issuing regulations that govern how Farm Credit System institutions conduct their business, the Agency issues other forms of guidance, including FCA Board Policy Statements, FCA Bookletters, Informational Memorandums, and Legal Opinions.
When a Board policy statement affects the interests of the general public, it must be published in the Federal Register, as required under the Freedom of Information Act.
Once adopted, a Board policy statement remains in effect unless amended, revoked, suspended, or altered by a subsequent Board action. The FCA Board Policy Statements database provides the text of all Board policy statements that are currently in effect.
Bookletters are documents issued by an Agency official that communicate FCA’s legal interpretations and the Agency’s position on specific issues. The FCA Bookletters database contains all bookletters issued since December 1985.
Informational Memorandums (Info Memos) are FCA communications addressed to all FCS institutions. They do not require FCA Board review and prior approval before distribution and may be effective only for a short time.
An Info Memo generally serves one of the following purposes:
- To issue or revise the FCA Examination Manual, examination criteria, and procedures
- To request information on Call Reports or young, beginning, and small farmers and ranchers reports
- To provide information on fraudulent activities, removals/suspensions/prohibitions, or other related activities
- To transmit documents issued by other Federal agencies, including regulations, official staff commentary on regulations, and forms
The Informational Memorandums database contains Info Memos dating back more than 10 years.
FCS institutions sometimes contact FCA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) with questions about how a statute, a regulation, or some other guidance the Agency issued applies to a specific situation. The OGC responds by drafting a legal opinion.
From time to time, the OGC selects legal opinions of general interest and posts condensed summaries on a database linked to the FCA Web site. (See the Summaries of Selected Legal Opinions database.) When you are reviewing these summaries, please be aware that different facts or subsequent changes in law and policy can produce different conclusions.