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Geithner on Late FIO Reports: Sorry, But We Want to Get It Right

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he doesn't think there's a lack of resources at the FIO, just a desire to work "carefully."

[Related: FIO Misses Modernization Report DeadlineGroundhog Day at Treasury]

Industry observers have questioned whether the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) mandated by Dodd-Frank is all that important to the Treasury Department. It took months to appoint a director to the FIO and deadlines for reports have come and gone. Not that missed deadlines are an indication of much when it comes to Dodd-Frank, but the Office's eagerly anticipated insurance modernization report is two months late as of today, and it's not the FIO's only overdue assignment.

Yesterday, during hearing in the House, U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-13th-IL) asked Secretary Geithner whether a lack of resources might be causing the delays:

BIGGERT: Thank you -- thank you, Mr. Chairman. And welcome, Secretary Geithner.

Title V of the Dodd-Frank Act created the Federal Insurance Office at Treasury. And in conjunction with state regulators and the -- and the U.S. trade representatives, one of their most important missions is to strengthen the international competitiveness of -- of the U.S. insurers and re-insurers and was to represent the United States in international forums and increase U.S. influence in the development of international insurance standards. In your opinion, does FIO have the adequate staffing and other resources to successfully carry out this international mission?

GEITHNER: I believe so. But if -- if -- if that were not the case, we'd fix it.


GEITHNER: And -- and we've listened carefully to concerns people have. And I am personally very committed to making sure that that office has the resources it needs.

BIGGERT: OK. Well FIO was required to submit two reports in September and one in January and they're late and...


GEITHNER: They -- they are...


BIGGERT: ... and when will we see those reports?

GEITHNER: You're right, they're late and they're coming. They're getting closer. We've just been a little busy and I apologize for the fact they're a little behind. But it's not -- that's not really a resource question it's just that they want to get this -- do it carefully.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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