Officials at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Department of Defense disagree about how much military base commanders should tell state regulators about problems with life insurance agents.[@@]
GAO officials are recommending in a new report on the supplemental life market for servicemembers that military base commanders tell state regulators whenever life agents on military bases violate Defense Department, service branch or base rules.
GAO officials also want the Defense Department to improve tracking of servicemembers who pay for supplemental life products through the military payroll deduction system, by creating specific payroll codes that would distinguish payroll deductions for life policies from payroll deductions for other types of insurance policies.
Today, using the Defense Department’s current payroll systems, the department “cannot identify the extent to which life insurance agents are violating solicitation policies or procedures, [or the] the types, severity, or patterns of violations,” according to the GAO report, which was signed by Derek Stewart, a GAO director.
Charles Abell, a principal deputy at the Defense Department who handles personnel and readiness issues, writes in a letter accompanying the department’s response to the GAO report that the department disagrees with some of the GAO’s recommendations.
The Defense Department believes the report “contains misrepresentations and factual errors,” Abell writes.
For one thing, Abell writes, the Defense Department has far more information about the extent of personnel solicitation policy violations than the GAO acknowledges.