SHB 1298 -
By Committee on Governmental Operations
Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert the following:
"Sec. 1 RCW 13.34.100 and 2010 c 180 s 2 are each amended to read
(1) The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for a child who is the subject of an action under this chapter, unless a court for good cause finds the appointment unnecessary. The requirement of a guardian ad litem may be deemed satisfied if the child is represented by independent counsel in the proceedings. The court shall attempt to match a child with special needs with a guardian ad litem who has specific training or education related to the child's individual needs.
(2) If the court does not have available to it a guardian ad litem program with a sufficient number of volunteers, the court may appoint a suitable person to act as guardian ad litem for the child under this chapter. Another party to the proceeding or the party's employee or representative shall not be so appointed.
(3) Each guardian ad litem program shall maintain a background information record for each guardian ad litem in the program. Information obtained pursuant to this subsection (3) must be made available for public inspection and copying, subject to the court's discretion. The background information record shall include, but is not limited to, the following information:
(a) Level of formal education;
(b) General training related to the guardian ad litem's duties;
(c) Specific training related to issues potentially faced by children in the dependency system;
(d) Specific training or education related to child disability or developmental issues;
(e) Connection with an organization or association involved in the placement of children including a membership, referrals, contracts, or other financial dealings;
(f) Number of years' experience as a guardian ad litem;
(f))) (g) Number of appointments as a guardian ad litem and the
county or counties of appointment, and number of appointments as a
guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate in other states
with the location and duration of the appointments in other states;
(g))) (h) The names of any counties in Washington or other states
in which the person was removed from a guardian ad litem registry
pursuant to a grievance action, and the name of the court and the cause
number of any case in which the court has removed the person for cause;
(h))) (i) Any complaint made to a court or to a guardian ad litem
program or court-appointed special advocate program, or request for
review under subsection (9) of this section, unless proven false;
(j) Founded allegations of abuse or neglect as defined in RCW 26.44.020;
(i))) (k) The results of an examination of state and national
criminal identification data. The examination shall consist of a
background check as allowed through the Washington state criminal
records privacy act under RCW 10.97.050, the Washington state patrol
criminal identification system under RCW 43.43.832 through 43.43.834,
and the federal bureau of investigation. The background check shall be
done through the Washington state patrol criminal identification
section and must include a national check from the federal bureau of
investigation based on the submission of fingerprints; and
(j))) (l) Criminal history, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030, for the
period covering ten years prior to the appointment.
The background information record shall be updated annually. As a condition of appointment, the guardian ad litem's background information record shall be made available to the court. If the appointed guardian ad litem is not a member of a guardian ad litem program a suitable person appointed by the court to act as guardian ad litem shall provide the background information record to the court.
Upon appointment, the guardian ad litem, or guardian ad litem program, shall provide the parties or their attorneys with a copy of the background information record. ((
The portion of the background
information record containing the results of the criminal background
check and the criminal history shall not be disclosed to the parties or
their attorneys.)) The background information record shall not include
identifying information that may be used to harm a guardian ad litem,
such as home addresses and home telephone numbers, and for volunteer
guardians ad litem the court may allow the use of maiden names or
pseudonyms as necessary for their safety.
(4) The appointment of the guardian ad litem shall remain in effect until the court discharges the appointment or no longer has jurisdiction, whichever comes first. The guardian ad litem may also be discharged upon entry of an order of guardianship.
(5) A guardian ad litem through counsel, or as otherwise authorized by the court, shall have the right to present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to be present at all hearings. A guardian ad litem shall receive copies of all pleadings and other documents filed or submitted to the court, and notice of all hearings according to court rules. The guardian ad litem shall receive all notice contemplated for a parent or other party in all proceedings under this chapter.
(6)(a) Pursuant to this subsection, the department or supervising agency and the child's guardian ad litem shall each notify a child of his or her right to request counsel and shall ask the child whether he or she wishes to have counsel. The department or supervising agency and the child's guardian ad litem shall notify the child and make this inquiry immediately after:
(i) The date of the child's twelfth birthday;
(ii) Assignment of a case involving a child age twelve or older; or
(iii) July 1, 2010, for a child who turned twelve years old before July 1, 2010.
(b) The department or supervising agency and the child's guardian ad litem shall repeat the notification and inquiry at least annually and upon the filing of any motion or petition affecting the child's placement, services, or familial relationships.
(c) The notification and inquiry is not required if the child has already been appointed counsel.
(d) The department or supervising agency shall note in the child's individual service and safety plan, and the guardian ad litem shall note in his or her report to the court, that the child was notified of the right to request counsel and indicate the child's position regarding appointment of counsel.
(e) At the first regularly scheduled hearing after:
(i) The date of the child's twelfth birthday;
(ii) The date that a dependency petition is filed pursuant to this chapter on a child age twelve or older; or
(iii) July 1, 2010, for a child who turned twelve years old before July 1, 2010;
the court shall inquire whether the child has received notice of his or her right to request legal counsel from the department or supervising agency and the child's guardian ad litem. The court shall make an additional inquiry at the first regularly scheduled hearing after the child's fifteenth birthday. No inquiry is necessary if the child has already been appointed counsel.
(f) If the child requests legal counsel and is age twelve or older, or if the guardian ad litem or the court determines that the child needs to be independently represented by counsel, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the child's position.
(7) For the purposes of child abuse prevention and treatment act (42 U.S.C. Secs. 5101 et seq.) grants to this state under P.L. 93-247, or any related state or federal legislation, a person appointed pursuant to this section shall be deemed a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the minor in proceedings before the court.
(8) When a court-appointed special advocate or volunteer guardian ad litem is requested on a case, the program shall give the court the name of the person it recommends. The program shall attempt to match a child with special needs with a guardian ad litem who has specific training or education related to the child's individual needs. The court shall immediately appoint the person recommended by the program.
(9) If a party in a case reasonably believes the court-appointed special advocate or volunteer guardian ad litem is inappropriate or unqualified, the party may request a review of the appointment by the program. The program must complete the review within five judicial days and remove any appointee for good cause. If the party seeking the review is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, the party may file a motion with the court for the removal of the court-appointed special advocate or volunteer guardian ad litem on the grounds the advocate or volunteer is inappropriate or unqualified.
Sec. 2 RCW 42.56.230 and 2011 c 350 s 2 and 2011 c 173 s 1 are
each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
The following personal information is exempt from public inspection and copying under this chapter:
(1) Personal information in any files maintained for students in public schools, patients or clients of public institutions or public health agencies, or welfare recipients;
(2) Personal information((
,)) including, but not limited to,
addresses, telephone numbers, personal electronic mail addresses,
social security numbers, emergency contact and date of birth
information for a participant in a public or nonprofit program serving
or pertaining to children, adolescents, or students, including but not
limited to early learning or child care services, parks and recreation
programs, youth development programs, and after-school programs.
Emergency contact information may be provided to appropriate
authorities and medical personnel for the purpose of treating the
individual during an emergency situation;
(3) Personal information in files maintained for employees, appointees, or elected officials of any public agency to the extent that disclosure would violate their right to privacy;
(4) Information required of any taxpayer in connection with the assessment or collection of any tax if the disclosure of the information to other persons would: (a) Be prohibited to such persons by RCW 84.08.210, 82.32.330, 84.40.020, 84.40.340, or any ordinance authorized under RCW 35.102.145; or (b) violate the taxpayer's right to privacy or result in unfair competitive disadvantage to the taxpayer;
(5) Credit card numbers, debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, card expiration dates, or bank or other financial ((
numbers)) information as defined in RCW 9.35.005 including social
security numbers, except when disclosure is expressly required by or
governed by other law;
(6) Personal and financial information related to a small loan or any system of authorizing a small loan in RCW 31.45.093; and
(7)(a) Documents and related materials and scanned images of documents and related materials used to prove identity, age, residential address, social security number, or other personal information required to apply for a driver's license or identicard.
(b) Information provided under RCW 46.20.111 that indicates that an applicant declined to register with the selective service system.
Sec. 3 RCW 42.56.240 and 2012 c 88 s 1 are each amended to read
The following investigative, law enforcement, and crime victim information is exempt from public inspection and copying under this chapter:
(1) Specific intelligence information and specific investigative records compiled by investigative, law enforcement, and penology agencies, and state agencies vested with the responsibility to discipline members of any profession, the nondisclosure of which is essential to effective law enforcement or for the protection of any person's right to privacy;
(2) Information revealing the identity of persons who are witnesses to or victims of crime or who file complaints with investigative, law enforcement, or penology agencies, other than the commission, if disclosure would endanger any person's life, physical safety, or property. If at the time a complaint is filed the complainant, victim, or witness indicates a desire for disclosure or nondisclosure, such desire shall govern. However, all complaints filed with the commission about any elected official or candidate for public office must be made in writing and signed by the complainant under oath;
(3) Any records of investigative reports prepared by any state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agency pertaining to sex offenses contained in chapter 9A.44 RCW or sexually violent offenses as defined in RCW 71.09.020, which have been transferred to the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs for permanent electronic retention and retrieval pursuant to RCW 40.14.070(2)(b);
(4) License applications under RCW 9.41.070; copies of license applications or information on the applications may be released to law enforcement or corrections agencies;
(5) Information revealing the identity of child victims of sexual assault who are under age eighteen. Identifying information ((
includes, but is not limited to the child victim's name, address,
location, photograph, and in cases in which the child victim is a
relative or stepchild of the alleged perpetrator, identification of the
relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator;
(6) Information contained in a local or regionally maintained gang database as well as the statewide gang database referenced in RCW 43.43.762;
(7) Data from the electronic sales tracking system established in RCW 69.43.165;
(8) Information submitted to the statewide unified sex offender notification and registration program under RCW 36.28A.040(6) by a person for the purpose of receiving notification regarding a registered sex offender, including the person's name, residential address, and e-mail address; and
(9) Personally identifying information collected by law enforcement agencies pursuant to local security alarm system programs and vacation crime watch programs. Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted so as to prohibit the legal owner of a residence or business from accessing information regarding his or her residence or business.
Sec. 4 RCW 70.148.060 and 2005 c 274 s 341 are each amended to
read as follows:
(1) All ((
examination and proprietary reports and)) information
except for proprietary reports or information obtained by the director
and the director's staff in soliciting bids from insurers and in
monitoring the insurer selected by the director shall not be made
public or otherwise disclosed to any person, firm, corporation, agency,
association, governmental body, or other entity.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section notwithstanding, the director may furnish all or part of examination reports prepared by the director or by any person, firm, corporation, association, or other entity preparing the reports on behalf of the director to:
(a) The Washington state insurance commissioner;
(b) A person or organization officially connected with the insurer as officer, director, attorney, auditor, or independent attorney or independent auditor; and
(c) The attorney general in his or her role as legal advisor to the director.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section notwithstanding, the director may furnish all or part of the examination or proprietary reports or information obtained by the director to:
(a) The Washington state insurance commissioner; and
(b) A person, firm, corporation, association, governmental body, or other entity with whom the director has contracted for services necessary to perform his or her official duties.
Examination reports and)) Proprietary information obtained by
the director and the director's staff (( are)) is not subject to public
disclosure under chapter 42.56 RCW.
(5) A person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Sec. 5 RCW 40.14.100 and 1971 ex.s. c 102 s 2 are each amended to
read as follows:
As used in RCW 40.14.010 and 40.14.100 through 40.14.180, unless the context requires otherwise, "legislative records" shall be defined as correspondence, amendments, reports, and minutes of meetings made by or submitted to legislative policy, fiscal, or operational committees or subcommittees and transcripts or other records of hearings or supplementary written testimony or data thereof filed with legislative policy, fiscal, or operational committees or subcommittees in connection with the exercise of legislative or investigatory functions, but does not include the records of an official act of the legislature kept by the secretary of state, bills and their copies, published materials, digests, or multi-copied matter which are routinely retained and otherwise available at the state library or in a public repository, or reports or correspondence made or received by or in any way under the personal control of the individual members of the legislature.
Sec. 6 RCW 42.56.140 and 2007 c 198 s 2 are each amended to read
(1)(a) The public records exemptions accountability committee is created to review exemptions from public disclosure, with thirteen members as provided in this subsection.
(i) The governor shall appoint two members, one of whom represents the governor and one of whom represents local government.
(ii) The attorney general shall appoint two members, one of whom represents the attorney general and one of whom represents a statewide media association.
(iii) The state auditor shall appoint one member.
(iv) The president of the senate shall appoint one member from each of the two largest caucuses of the senate.
(v) The speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint one member from each of the two largest caucuses of the house of representatives.
(vi) The governor shall appoint four members of the public, with consideration given to diversity of viewpoint and geography.
(b) The governor shall select the chair of the committee from among its membership.
(c) Terms of the members shall be four years and shall be staggered, beginning August 1, 2007.
(2) The purpose of the public records exemptions accountability committee is to review public disclosure exemptions and provide recommendations pursuant to subsection (7)(d) of this section. The committee shall develop and publish criteria for review of public exemptions.
(3) All meetings of the committee shall be open to the public.
(4) The committee must consider input from interested parties.
(5) The office of the attorney general and the office of financial management shall provide staff support to the committee.
(6) Legislative members of the committee shall be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 44.04.120. Nonlegislative members, except those representing an employer or organization, are entitled to be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060.
(7)(a) Beginning August 1, 2007, the code reviser shall provide the committee by August 1st of each year with a list of all public disclosure exemptions in the Revised Code of Washington.
(b) The committee shall develop a schedule to accomplish a review of each public disclosure exemption. The committee shall publish the schedule and publish any revisions made to the schedule.
(c) The chair shall convene an initial meeting of the committee by September 1, 2007. The committee shall meet at least once a quarter and may hold additional meetings at the call of the chair or by a majority vote of the members of the committee.
(d) For each public disclosure exemption, the committee shall provide a recommendation as to whether the exemption should be continued without modification, modified, scheduled for sunset review at a future date, or terminated. By November 15th of each year, the committee shall transmit its recommendations to the governor, the attorney general, and the appropriate committees of the house of representatives and the senate.
(8) The committee and its powers and duties terminate August 1, 2013.
Sec. 7 RCW 42.56.250 and 2010 c 257 s 1 and 2010 c 128 s 9 are
each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
The following employment and licensing information is exempt from public inspection and copying under this chapter:
(1) Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to administer a license, employment, or academic examination;
(2) All applications for public employment, including the names of applicants, resumes, and other related materials submitted with respect to an applicant, subject to the following exceptions:
(a) The applications of finalists applying for the highest management position in a public agency, county, or local government department with confidential reference information removed or redacted is not exempt from inspection and copying; and
(b) Application materials not exempt from inspection and copying must be available to the public after the finalists are selected, but before the agency, county, or local government makes its decision;
(3) The residential addresses, residential telephone numbers, personal wireless telephone numbers, personal electronic mail addresses, social security numbers, and emergency contact information of employees or volunteers of a public agency, and the names, dates of birth, residential addresses, residential telephone numbers, personal wireless telephone numbers, personal electronic mail addresses, social security numbers, and emergency contact information of dependents of employees or volunteers of a public agency that are held by any public agency in personnel records, public employment related records, or volunteer rosters, or are included in any mailing list of employees or volunteers of any public agency. For purposes of this subsection, "employees" includes independent provider home care workers as defined in RCW 74.39A.240;
(4) Information that identifies a person who, while an agency employee: (a) Seeks advice, under an informal process established by the employing agency, in order to ascertain his or her rights in connection with a possible unfair practice under chapter 49.60 RCW against the person; and (b) requests his or her identity or any identifying information not be disclosed;
(5) Investigative records compiled by an employing agency conducting an active and ongoing investigation of a possible unfair practice under chapter 49.60 RCW or of a possible violation of other federal, state, or local laws prohibiting discrimination in employment;
(6) Criminal history records checks for board staff finalist candidates conducted pursuant to RCW 43.33A.025;
(7) Except as provided in RCW 47.64.220, salary and benefit information for maritime employees collected from private employers under RCW 47.64.220(1) and described in RCW 47.64.220(2); and
(8) Photographs and month and year of birth in the personnel files of employees and workers of criminal justice agencies as defined in RCW 10.97.030. The news media, as defined in RCW 5.68.010(5), shall have access to the photographs and full date of birth. For the purposes of this subsection, news media does not include any person or organization of persons in the custody of a criminal justice agency as defined in RCW 10.97.030.
Sec. 8 RCW 42.56.330 and 2012 c 68 s 4 are each amended to read
The following information relating to public utilities and transportation is exempt from disclosure under this chapter:
(1) Records filed with the utilities and transportation commission or attorney general under RCW 80.04.095 that a court has determined are confidential under RCW 80.04.095;
(2) The residential addresses and residential telephone numbers of the customers of a public utility contained in the records or lists held by the public utility of which they are customers, except that this information may be released to the division of child support or the agency or firm providing child support enforcement for another state under Title IV-D of the federal social security act, for the establishment, enforcement, or modification of a support order;
(3) The names, residential addresses, residential telephone numbers, and other individually identifiable records held by an agency in relation to a vanpool, carpool, or other ride-sharing program or service((
; however, these records)). Participants' names, general
locations, and e-mail addresses may be disclosed to other persons who
apply for ride-matching services and who need that information in order
to identify potential riders or drivers with whom to share rides;
(4) The personally identifying information of current or former participants or applicants in a paratransit or other transit service operated for the benefit of persons with disabilities or elderly persons;
(5) The personally identifying information of persons who acquire and use transit passes or other fare payment media including, but not limited to, stored value smart cards and magnetic strip cards, except that an agency may disclose personally identifying information to a person, employer, educational institution, or other entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for payment of the cost of acquiring or using a transit pass or other fare payment media for the purpose of preventing fraud((
, or to the news media when reporting on public
transportation or public safety)). As used in this subsection,
"personally identifying information" includes acquisition or use
information pertaining to a specific, individual transit pass or fare
(a) Information regarding the acquisition or use of transit passes or fare payment media may be disclosed in aggregate form if the data does not contain any personally identifying information.
(b) Personally identifying information may be released to law enforcement agencies if the request is accompanied by a court order;
(6) Any information obtained by governmental agencies that is collected by the use of a motor carrier intelligent transportation system or any comparable information equipment attached to a truck, tractor, or trailer; however, the information may be given to other governmental agencies or the owners of the truck, tractor, or trailer from which the information is obtained. As used in this subsection, "motor carrier" has the same definition as provided in RCW 81.80.010;
(7) The personally identifying information of persons who acquire and use transponders or other technology to facilitate payment of tolls. This information may be disclosed in aggregate form as long as the data does not contain any personally identifying information. For these purposes aggregate data may include the census tract of the account holder as long as any individual personally identifying information is not released. Personally identifying information may be released to law enforcement agencies only for toll enforcement purposes. Personally identifying information may be released to law enforcement agencies for other purposes only if the request is accompanied by a court order; and
(8) The personally identifying information of persons who acquire and use a driver's license or identicard that includes a radio frequency identification chip or similar technology to facilitate border crossing. This information may be disclosed in aggregate form as long as the data does not contain any personally identifying information. Personally identifying information may be released to law enforcement agencies only for United States customs and border protection enforcement purposes. Personally identifying information may be released to law enforcement agencies for other purposes only if the request is accompanied by a court order.
Sec. 9 RCW 42.56.400 and 2012 2nd sp.s. c 3 s 8 are each amended
to read as follows:
The following information relating to insurance and financial institutions is exempt from disclosure under this chapter:
(1) Records maintained by the board of industrial insurance appeals that are related to appeals of crime victims' compensation claims filed with the board under RCW 7.68.110;
(2) Information obtained and exempted or withheld from public inspection by the health care authority under RCW 41.05.026, whether retained by the authority, transferred to another state purchased health care program by the authority, or transferred by the authority to a technical review committee created to facilitate the development, acquisition, or implementation of state purchased health care under chapter 41.05 RCW;
(3) The names and individual identification data of either all owners or all insureds, or both, received by the insurance commissioner under chapter 48.102 RCW;
(4) Information provided under RCW 48.30A.045 through 48.30A.060;
(5) Information provided under RCW 48.05.510 through 48.05.535, 48.43.200 through 48.43.225, 48.44.530 through 48.44.555, and 48.46.600 through 48.46.625;
(6) Examination reports and information obtained by the department of financial institutions from banks under RCW 30.04.075, from savings banks under RCW 32.04.220, from savings and loan associations under RCW 33.04.110, from credit unions under RCW 31.12.565, from check cashers and sellers under RCW 31.45.030(3), and from securities brokers and investment advisers under RCW 21.20.100, all of which is confidential and privileged information;
(7) Information provided to the insurance commissioner under RCW 48.110.040(3);
(8) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the insurance commissioner under RCW 48.02.065, all of which are confidential and privileged;
(9) Confidential proprietary and trade secret information provided to the commissioner under RCW 48.31C.020 through 48.31C.050 and 48.31C.070;
Data filed under RCW 48.140.020, 48.140.030, 48.140.050, and
7.70.140 that, alone or in combination with any other data, may reveal
the identity of a claimant, health care provider, health care facility,
insuring entity, or self-insurer involved in a particular claim or a
collection of claims. For the purposes of this subsection:)) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the
insurance commissioner under RCW 48.135.060;
(a) "Claimant" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.140.010(2).
(b) "Health care facility" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.140.010(6).
(c) "Health care provider" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.140.010(7).
(d) "Insuring entity" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.140.010(8).
(e) "Self-insurer" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.140.010(11);
(12))) (11) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the
insurance commissioner under RCW 48.37.060;
(13))) (12) Confidential and privileged documents obtained or
produced by the insurance commissioner and identified in RCW 48.37.080;
(14))) (13) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the
insurance commissioner under RCW 48.37.140;
(15))) (14) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the
insurance commissioner under RCW 48.17.595;
(16))) (15) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the
insurance commissioner under RCW 48.102.051(1) and 48.102.140 (3) and
(17))) (16) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the
insurance commissioner in the commissioner's capacity as receiver under
RCW 48.31.025 and 48.99.017, which are records under the jurisdiction
and control of the receivership court. The commissioner is not
required to search for, log, produce, or otherwise comply with the
public records act for any records that the commissioner obtains under
chapters 48.31 and 48.99 RCW in the commissioner's capacity as a
receiver, except as directed by the receivership court;
(18))) (17) Documents, materials, or information obtained by the
insurance commissioner under RCW 48.13.151;
(19))) (18) Data, information, and documents provided by a
carrier pursuant to section 1, chapter 172, Laws of 2010;
(20))) (19) Information in a filing of usage-based insurance
about the usage-based component of the rate pursuant to RCW
(21))) (20) Data, information, and documents, other than those
described in RCW 48.02.210(2), that are submitted to the office of the
insurance commissioner by an entity providing health care coverage
pursuant to RCW 28A.400.275 and 48.02.210.
Sec. 10 RCW 48.37.060 and 2011 1st sp.s. c 43 s 460 are each
amended to read as follows:
(1) When the commissioner determines that other market conduct actions identified in RCW 48.37.040(4)(a) have not sufficiently addressed issues raised concerning company activities in Washington state, the commissioner has the discretion to conduct market conduct examinations in accordance with the NAIC market conduct uniform examination procedures and the NAIC market regulation handbook.
(2)(a) In lieu of an examination of an insurer licensed in this state, the commissioner shall accept an examination report of another state, unless the commissioner determines that the other state does not have laws substantially similar to those of this state, or does not have a market oversight system that is comparable to the market conduct oversight system set forth in this law.
(b) The commissioner's determination under (a) of this subsection is discretionary with the commissioner and is not subject to appeal.
(c) If the insurer to be examined is part of an insurance holding company system, the commissioner may also seek to simultaneously examine any affiliates of the insurer under common control and management which are licensed to write the same lines of business in this state.
(3) Before commencement of a market conduct examination, market conduct oversight personnel shall prepare a work plan consisting of the following:
(a) The name and address of the insurer being examined;
(b) The name and contact information of the examiner-in-charge;
(c) The name of all market conduct oversight personnel initially assigned to the market conduct examination;
(d) The justification for the examination;
(e) The scope of the examination;
(f) The date the examination is scheduled to begin;
(g) Notice of any noninsurance department personnel who will assist in the examination;
(h) A time estimate for the examination;
(i) A budget for the examination if the cost of the examination is billed to the insurer; and
(j) An identification of factors that will be included in the billing if the cost of the examination is billed to the insurer.
(4)(a) Within ten days of the receipt of the information contained in subsection (3) of this section, insurers may request the commissioner's discretionary review of any alleged conflict of interest, pursuant to RCW 48.37.090(2), of market conduct oversight personnel and noninsurance department personnel assigned to a market conduct examination. The request for review shall specifically describe the alleged conflict of interest in the proposed assignment of any person to the examination.
(b) Within five business days of receiving a request for discretionary review of any alleged conflict of interest in the proposed assignment of any person to a market conduct examination, the commissioner or designee shall notify the insurer of any action regarding the assignment of personnel to a market conduct examination based on the insurer's allegation of conflict of interest.
(5) Market conduct examinations shall, to the extent feasible, use desk examinations and data requests before an on-site examination.
(6) Market conduct examinations shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions set forth in the NAIC market regulation handbook and the NAIC market conduct uniform examinations procedures, subject to the precedence of the provisions of chapter 82, Laws of 2007.
(7) The commissioner shall use the NAIC standard data request.
(8) Announcement of the examination shall be sent to the insurer and posted on the NAIC's examination tracking system as soon as possible but in no case later than sixty days before the estimated commencement of the examination, except where the examination is conducted in response to extraordinary circumstances as described in RCW 48.37.050(2)(a). The announcement sent to the insurer shall contain the examination work plan and a request for the insurer to name its examination coordinator.
(9) If an examination is expanded significantly beyond the original reasons provided to the insurer in the notice of the examination required by subsection (3) of this section, the commissioner shall provide written notice to the insurer, explaining the expansion and reasons for the expansion. The commissioner shall provide a revised work plan if the expansion results in significant changes to the items presented in the original work plan required by subsection (3) of this section.
(10) The commissioner shall conduct a preexamination conference with the insurer examination coordinator and key personnel to clarify expectations at least thirty days before commencement of the examination, unless otherwise agreed by the insurer and the commissioner.
(11) Before the conclusion of the field work for market conduct examination, the examiner-in-charge shall review examination findings to date with insurer personnel and schedule an exit conference with the insurer, in accordance with procedures in the NAIC market regulation handbook.
(12)(a) No later than sixty days after completion of each market conduct examination, the commissioner shall make a full written report of each market conduct examination containing only facts ascertained from the accounts, records, and documents examined and from the sworn testimony of individuals, and such conclusions and recommendations as may reasonably be warranted from such facts.
(b) The report shall be certified by the commissioner or by the examiner-in-charge of the examination, and shall be filed in the commissioner's office subject to (c) of this subsection.
(c) The commissioner shall furnish a copy of the market conduct examination report to the person examined not less than ten days and, unless the time is extended by the commissioner, not more than thirty days prior to the filing of the report for public inspection in the commissioner's office. If the person so requests in writing within such period, the commissioner shall hold a hearing to consider objections of such person to the report as proposed, and shall not so file the report until after such hearing and until after any modifications in the report deemed necessary by the commissioner have been made.
(d) Within thirty days of the end of the period described in (c) of this subsection, unless extended by order of the commissioner, the commissioner shall consider the report, together with any written submissions or rebuttals and any relevant portions of the examiner's work papers and enter an order:
(i) Adopting the market conduct examination report as filed or with modification or corrections. If the market conduct examination report reveals that the company is operating in violation of any law, rule, or order of the commissioner, the commissioner may order the company to take any action the commissioner considers necessary and appropriate to cure that violation;
(ii) Rejecting the market conduct examination report with directions to the examiners to reopen the examination for purposes of obtaining additional data, documentation, or information, and refiling under this subsection; or
(iii) Calling for an investigatory hearing with no less than twenty days' notice to the company for purposes of obtaining additional documentation, data, information, and testimony.
(e) All orders entered under (d) of this subsection must be accompanied by findings and conclusions resulting from the commissioner's consideration and review of the market conduct examination report, relevant examiner work papers, and any written submissions or rebuttals. The order is considered a final administrative decision and may be appealed under the administrative procedure act, chapter 34.05 RCW, and must be served upon the company by certified mail or certifiable electronic means, together with a copy of the adopted examination report. A copy of the adopted examination report must be sent by certified mail or certifiable electronic means to each director at the director's residential address or to a personal e-mail account.
(f)(i) Upon the adoption of the market conduct examination report under (d) of this subsection, the commissioner shall continue to hold the content of the examination report as private and confidential information for a period of five days except that the order may be disclosed to the person examined. Thereafter, the commissioner ((
must open the report for public inspection so long as no court of
competent jurisdiction has stayed its publication.
(ii) If the commissioner determines that regulatory action is appropriate as a result of any market conduct examination, he or she may initiate any proceedings or actions as provided by law.
(iii) Nothing contained in this subsection requires the commissioner to disclose any information or records that would indicate or show the existence or content of any investigation or activity of a criminal justice agency.
(g) The insurer's response shall be included in the commissioner's order adopting the final report as an exhibit to the order. The insurer is not obligated to submit a response.
(13) Except as provided in subsection (12)(f)(i) of this section, the commissioner may withhold from public inspection any examination or investigation report for so long as he or she deems it advisable.
(14)(a) Market conduct examinations within this state of any insurer domiciled or having its home offices in this state, other than a title insurer, made by the commissioner or the commissioner's examiners and employees shall, except as to fees, mileage, and expense incurred as to witnesses, be at the expense of the state.
(b) Every other examination, whatsoever, or any part of the market conduct examination of any person domiciled or having its home offices in this state requiring travel and services outside this state, shall be made by the commissioner or by examiners designated by the commissioner and shall be at the expense of the person examined; but a domestic insurer shall not be liable for the compensation of examiners employed by the commissioner for such services outside this state.
(c) When making a market conduct examination under this chapter, the commissioner may contract, in accordance with applicable state contracting procedures, for qualified attorneys, appraisers, independent certified public accountants, contract actuaries, and other similar individuals who are independently practicing their professions, even though those persons may from time to time be similarly employed or retained by persons subject to examination under this chapter, as examiners as the commissioner deems necessary for the efficient conduct of a particular examination. The compensation and per diem allowances paid to such contract persons shall be reasonable in the market and time incurred, shall not exceed one hundred twenty-five percent of the compensation and per diem allowances for examiners set forth in the guidelines adopted by the national association of insurance commissioners, unless the commissioner demonstrates that one hundred twenty-five percent is inadequate under the circumstances of the examination, and subject to the provisions of (a) of this subsection.
(d)(i) The person examined and liable shall reimburse the state upon presentation of an itemized statement thereof, for the actual travel expenses of the commissioner's examiners, their reasonable living expenses allowance, and their per diem compensation, including salary and the employer's cost of employee benefits, at a reasonable rate approved by the commissioner, incurred on account of the examination. Per diem, salary, and expenses for employees examining insurers domiciled outside the state of Washington shall be established by the commissioner on the basis of the national association of insurance commissioner's recommended salary and expense schedule for zone examiners, or the salary schedule established by the human resources director and the expense schedule established by the office of financial management, whichever is higher. A domestic title insurer shall pay the examination expense and costs to the commissioner as itemized and billed by the commissioner.
(ii) The commissioner or the commissioner's examiners shall not receive or accept any additional emolument on account of any examination.
(iii) Market conduct examination fees subject to being reimbursed by an insurer shall be itemized and bills shall be provided to the insurer on a monthly basis for review prior to submission for payment, or as otherwise provided by state law.
(e) Nothing contained in this chapter limits the commissioner's authority to terminate or suspend any examination in order to pursue other legal or regulatory action under the insurance laws of this state. Findings of fact and conclusions made pursuant to any examination are prima facie evidence in any legal or regulatory action.
(f) The commissioner shall maintain active management and oversight of market conduct examination costs, including costs associated with the commissioner's own examiners, and with retaining qualified contract examiners necessary to perform an examination. Any agreement with a contract examiner shall:
(i) Clearly identify the types of functions to be subject to outsourcing;
(ii) Provide specific timelines for completion of the outsourced review;
(iii) Require disclosure to the insurer of contract examiners' recommendations;
(iv) Establish and use a dispute resolution or arbitration mechanism to resolve conflicts with insurers regarding examination fees; and
(v) Require disclosure of the terms of the contracts with the outside consultants that will be used, specifically the fees and/or hourly rates that can be charged.
(g) The commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall review and affirmatively endorse detailed billings from the qualified contract examiner before the detailed billings are sent to the insurer."
SHB 1298 -
By Committee on Governmental Operations
On page 1, line 2 of the title, after "committee;" strike the remainder of the title and insert "amending RCW 13.34.100, 42.56.240, 70.148.060, 40.14.100, 42.56.140, 42.56.330, 42.56.400, and 48.37.060; and reenacting and amending RCW 42.56.230 and 42.56.250."
EFFECT: Removes the prohibition on disclosure of guardian ad litem FBI criminal background check and criminal history to parties and their attorneys. Requires that the background information record for each guardian ad litem be made available for public inspection and copying, subject to the court's discretion. Requires that additional information be included in the guardian ad litem background information record. Eliminates the exemption from public inspection and copying for the applications of finalists for the highest management position in a public agency, county, or local government, except for confidential reference information. Eliminates the exemption from public inspection and copying of data on closed medical malpractice claims that may reveal the identity of a claimant, health care provider or facility, insurer, or self-insurer. Requires that market conduct examination reports be open to public inspection and copying five days after adoption by the Insurance Commissioner unless a court stays publication. Clarifies that records of legislative operational committees are public records open to inspection and copying. Terminates the public records exemptions accountability committee on August 1, 2013.