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State Lawmaker Asks AG Opinion on Secret NAIC Meetings

North Dakota State Rep. George Keiser has written his state attorney general, seeking an opinion on the legality of state insurance regulators participating in National...
May 30, 2007

North Dakota State Rep. George Keiser has written his state attorney general, seeking an opinion on the legality of state insurance regulators participating in National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) meetings that bar the public. The Republican representative from Bismarck asked Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem whether the participation by state Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman in secret NAIC meetings violates North Dakota's open record law.

"Can the state of North Dakota pay membership dues to belong to and participate in policy and regulatory discussions if said discussions and decisions occur in executive sessions not open to the public?" the letter asks. Commissioner Poolman said he thinks Keiser is "off base, and I believe the opinion asked for will prove that."

National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NAIC) Vice President Brian Kennedy brought concerns to light regarding what he says is NAIC's "excessive" use of executive sessions, charging that not only does it violate the spirit of the NAIC's open meetings policy, it also runs counter to sunshine laws binding in many states on public officials, including insurance commissioners.

N.D. Lawmaker Questions NAIC Secrecy (National Underwriter 5/25/07)