The National Association of Insurance Commissioners will defer comment on how action by New Mexico placing Insurance Superintendent Eric Serna on administrative leave could impact his leadership role in the organization.

Serna is secretary-treasurer of NAIC. At press time, he could not be reached for comment.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission put Serna on administrative leave following a recommendation from New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid. She recommended the suspension following questions regarding a bank custodial account.

The April 6 letter from Madrid also references an audit report from the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee that criticized the department for high contract examiner compensation.

The NAIC has not received any notification from New Mexico authorities and until official notice is received, the NAIC will defer comment, says Scott Holeman, an NAIC spokesman.

On the issue of the NAIC addressing the way vendors, including examiners, are contracted by states, Holeman says individual state departments are bound by state ethics laws. The NAIC has vendor policies in place for itself, but those policies do not cover individual states, he adds.

Holeman says the NAIC’s current accreditation process is focused on financial solvency monitoring and would not be a venue that could be used to create uniform standards for how departments handle vendor contracts.

Given the fact that states have their own ethics guidelines and laws, creating uniform guidelines across states probably would not occur, he says.