April 10, 2009
As those of you doing business in Louisiana are well aware, there is an ongoing “feud” between Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and Legislative Auditor Steve Theriot regarding the legislative auditor’s access to insurance department records.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance has pursued court action in the matter to protect confidential and proprietary information provided to them by companies, but no resolution has occurred. The legislative auditor continues to assert that office’s right of access to all DOI records.
Commissioner Donelon has asked for industry assistance in continuing their effort to protect information, but as yet there has been no appropriate opportunity for legal intervention. He also has encouraged companies to take steps to proactively protect their own information, in light of the potential outcome that the legislative auditor may gain access to records.
On March 25, 2009, the DOI issued a notice indicating that the commissioner will comply if a judge orders that all records requested by the legislative auditor be turned over. A subsequent e-mail from the attorney representing DOI in this matter stated, “Absent a Court order or other arrangements made by May 15, 2009, the DOI will assume that it can produce all Confidential Data of third parties to the LLA (Louisiana Legislative Auditor).”
NAMIC will continue to monitor this issue and participate with the industry in any actions that may become necessary. We would appreciate any and all feedback regarding what action individual member companies are taking and how NAMIC can support that effort.