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Statement from CFO Tom Gallagher On: Need to Increase Transparency and Accountability at Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

10/4/2005

CONTACT:
Tami Torres or Bob Lotane
(850) 413-2842
     
TALLAHASSEE –Tom Gallagher, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, today proposed several recommendations for improving the transparency, oversight and accountability of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to the Financial Services Commission.  The Financial Services Commission is made up of the governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture commissioner.
 
"I'm deeply concerned with the recent problems that have occurred with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, including staffing and organizational issues, and these issues need to be immediately addressed.
 
"We currently have a criminal fraud investigation underway at Citizens but I would like to make the following recommendations to you [Financial Services Commission] to provide greater transparency and accountability with Citizens and other quasi-governmental insurers:
 
1. Recommend that the Legislature create a joint legislative committee to oversee quasi-governmental insurers including Citizens, Auto Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), Medical Malpractice JUA, and Workers Compensation JUA.

2. Require the staff of quasi-governmental insurers to provide notification to their respective boards for any financial transactions in excess of $10,000 (consultant fees, advisors, vendors).

3. Require a background check for all executive officers of quasi-governmental insurers including Citizens.

4. Require the Division of Insurance Fraud within the Department of Financial Services to be notified within 48 hours of any suspected fraud and/or compromise of public trust by a quasi-governmental employee." 
 
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal.