Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, wrote a sharply worded letter to Federal Insurance Office (FIO) Director Michael McRaith at U.S. Treasury demanding to know why several overdue reports required by the Dodd-Frank Act were still not submitted to Congress.
“As director of FIO, you have failed to comply with the statutory requirements to provide the reports detailed below,” Neugebauer wrote, citing three reports, including the so-called insurance regulation modernization report, which is the most long-awaited, having been due Jan. 21, 2012.
The FIO reports, when published, would go to the subcommittee and parent House Financial Services Committee. In the Oct. 7 letter to McRaith, Neugebauer says Congress has not been given any legal justification of why FIO has not met its report deadlines so far and asked for a written response detailing the reasons — whether personnel, budgetary, political, operational or technical — as to why the reports are not submitted yet.
“While I have no reason to question the professionalism of the personnel at FIO, this pattern of disregard for statutorily imposed deadlines for reporting to Congress, without any explanation for the delays, is troubling,” Neugebauer wrote.
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Neugebauer’s office says he has been having productive meetings with McRaith on insurance issues so far. The FIO says it has received the letter.
Drafts of the reports have been circulated for months but, like many federal work products, are subject to a process at Treasury, and through Treasury to other federal agencies, where they are vetted, explained, rewritten and reviewed again as insurance events or regulatory issues occur and arise — all before they are sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. A new office’s first official agenda-setting item would likely go through this process in an even more involved and protracted way.
Neugebauer has taken an interest in calling on FIO and McRaith to explain their roles and involvement in issues of insurance regulation domestically and internationally.