Launched in 2016, the Enterprise Solution Modernization program is wide-ranging and encompasses the replacement of many legacy applications, as well as streamlines and aligns processes, technology, and infrastructure across all of the NCUA’s business functions.
Ultimately, the goal of the Enterprise Solution Modernization program is to develop the technology, systems and infrastructure necessary to reduce the agency’s examination burden on credit unions. The program is also providing the essential technological upgrades required to support other examination modernization initiatives the NCUA is undertaking, like the Flexible Examination Program and the Virtual Examination Program.
We often receive questions from credit union stakeholders saying, “It is great that NCUA is modernizing technology and the exam program, but how will this impact me?” Here are some of the improvements scheduled to begin in 2019 and how they will benefit your credit union’s operations.
- A Single Point of Entry to Interact with the NCUA — We are establishing a secure, role based central user interface with multi-factor authentication for accessing examination-related systems and applications. These systems will initially include a new examination platform that’s replacing AIRES, the Modern Examination and Risk Identification Tool or MERIT, to interact and share information with your examiner. Eventually other applications, such as CUOnline, will be added so credit unions can interact with NCUA from a secure, centralized location.
- A Secure Mechanism to Transfer Exam Documents — Through MERIT, credit unions will be able to securely exchange documents with examiners. Examples of this type of exchange include responding to the items needed list for your examination or accessing your exam report. Additionally, there will be user notifications, so you know when to access MERIT to send or retrieve documents.
Additionally, in October 2017, the NCUA posted a Request for Information (opens new window) in the Federal Register to update, modernize, and expand the AIRES Download gathered during exams. For broader input, NCUA staff engaged with credit unions and data processing vendors about the challenges and opportunities that come with such changes. The agency believes expanded data fields will enhance our analytic capabilities, leading to a more efficient, risk-focused approach while onsite at credit unions. The NCUA is currently reviewing the feedback received to determine next steps, but plans to continue discussions with stakeholders, should this initiative move forward.
Modernizing the agency’s systems and processes will reduce the examination burden on the credit union community and increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the NCUA’s operations. As the initiative progresses, NCUA staff will continue to engage with credit unions. If you are interested in learning more about the program and its progress, please visit our program’s web page on NCUA.gov.