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CFO Jimmy Patronis: Lobby Registration Requirement Should Apply to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

5/2/2018

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Contact: Anna Alexopoulos Farrar, 850.413.2842, anna.farrar@myfloridacfo.com
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis sent the below letter to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation President and CEO Barry Gilway today regarding the lack of a requirement for those lobbying the Corporation. The letter can also be found here.
 
May 2, 2018
 
Mr. Barry Gilway, President, CEO and Executive Director
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
301 W. Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202 
 
Dear Mr. Gilway:
 
As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Financial Services Commission, I believe that transparency should be a key component to any organization. Currently, lobbyists are not statutorily required to disclose their efforts on behalf of clients and private interests they represent before Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Florida’s state-backed insurer should be subject to the same rules as state agencies and organizations such as water management districts.
 
Transparency is one of the best ways we can ensure accountability. It should be crystal clear who is interested in influencing Citizens policy changes or securing contracts with the Corporation. The Citizens internal Code of Ethics should address lobbying activities. Considering the lack of a statutory requirement, I am requesting Citizens attend the next meeting of the Governor and Cabinet to discuss the Corporation’s plan of action and timeline to correct this shortcoming. 
 
Citizens should examine its internal Code of Ethics and consider options such as publicly documenting entities that lobby Citizens. These options would be a proactive approach while awaiting the next legislative session to address this statutorily.   
 
A public entity that provides insurance to more than 444,000 policyholders in Florida, and the potential financial impact that Citizens has for all Floridians' insurance policies, should ensure all lobbying activities are conducted in the sunshine.
 
Regards,
 
 
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
 
 
c: Christopher B. Gardner, Chairman
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a native Floridian and a member of Florida’s Cabinet, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).