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NAIC Ponders Empty Meetings Department

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NU Online News Service, Feb. 2, 2004, 5:46 p.m. EST — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is weighing several options following a clean sweep of its meetings department.[@@]

Among the options that are being considered are outsourcing the function and rebuilding the department, according to Andy Beal, general counsel for the Kansas City, Mo.-based organization.

Beal emphasizes that the department still exists and that “we don’t think that [the changes] will be disruptive to the national meetings, interim meetings or the educational seminars.”

The NAIC terminated 4 employees and accepted the resignations of 2 employees, according to Beal.

At press time, the former members of the NAIC meetings department could not be reached for comment.

Several weeks ago, an internal review of the department began and “we discovered a violation of the NAIC conflict of interest policy,” Beal alleges.

The result of the review found that staff members had “inappropriately accepted incentives from outside vendors,” Beal alleges.

The NAIC has a policy of restricting accumulation of meeting planner points, and the review centered on meeting planner points, Beal says.

“It was a matter of applying policy across the board and making sure that all employees receive equal treatment,” Beal says. “We are looking at internal controls to make sure that it doesn’t happen going forward.”

In the future, he adds, the NAIC will make sure that all employees have a “clear understanding” of the policy regarding rewards and perks.