Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Inspector General To Review State-Run Insurer’s Post-Employment Ethical Guidelines
Jun 2, 2014
In the wake of a Miami Herald investigative report published yesterday, June 1, 2014, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s (“Citizens'”) Board of Governors Chairman Chris Gardner and President/CEO and Executive Director Barry Gilway have asked Citizens’ Inspector General to review policies and procedures relating to post-Citizens employment in an effort to address questions raised about the ability of its former employees to seek jobs in the private market.
According to the Miami Herald, Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance Chairman David Simmons is calling for the ethics law to be tightened relating to Citizens’ contracts and has ordered Senate staff members to draft legislation to accomplish that.
To read the Miami Herald report, click here.
According to Citizens’ news release that addressed the issue late today, Chairman Gardner and Mr. Gilway requested that newly appointed Inspector General Bruce Meeks review Florida law and corporate restrictions as they relate to Citizens employees seeking positions with companies that do business with Citizens, the state’s insurer of last resort. Both emphasized their confidence that Citizens is complying with all current legal and ethical requirements.
Mr. Meeks, whose position was created by Florida lawmakers in 2013, was appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of the Florida Financial Services Commission. Under the new law, Citizens’ staff may not prevent or prohibit the Inspector General from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit, review, evaluation, study or investigation.
“Over the last two years, Citizens has made increased oversight and transparency a top priority and has carefully reviewed and strengthened its internal oversight procedures regarding travel expenses, procurement and governance,” Chairman Gardner said. “I look forward to a review by our Inspector General to ensure that post-employment guidelines are also appropriate given Citizens’ unique role as a government entity providing insurance similar to the private market.”
Citizens’ senior managers and Board of Governors members are governed by Part III of Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, part of which sets restrictions for post-Citizens employment. Lower-level employees are governed by Citizens’ internal code of ethics under the supervision of Citizens’ Ethics Officer.
The requested review is the most recent effort by Citizens to continue its standardization of management and internal oversight to ensure it is operating in a transparent and ethical manner, according to Mr. Gilway.
“Citizens is committed to maintaining appropriate safeguards to ensure that our post-employment guidelines meet Citizens’ high standards for ethical conduct,” he said.
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