June 8, 1984
CIRCULAR LETTER 10 (1984)
TO: The following domestic life insuring organizations subject to examination by, and which are required to file annual statements with, the Superintendent of Insurance
Life insurance companies, Fraternal benefit societies, Charitable annuity societies (subject to the provisions of Insurance Law Section 45), Retirement and/or pension systems organized under or subject to Insurance Law Section 200, and Private retirement and/or pension systems.
This letter repeals Circular Letters Number 18 (1966) and Number 1 (1970) and replaces them as follows:
The life insuring organizations listed above are required to maintain on their premises original minutes of their board of directors or trustees meetings and their various subordinate standing committees. These minutes will be reviewed as part of each statutory examination. The copies of these minutes which heretofore were submitted to the Department no longer need be submitted unless the Department requests a particular company to submit specific copies for review.
It should be noted that if the Department requests that minutes be submitted for review, such documents may become public records, presumptively discoverable pursuant to the provisions of Article 6 of the Public Officers Law (Freedom of Information Law). Any request for exemption from disclosure should be made at the time the documents are furnished to the Department. The Freedom of Information Law enumerates the grounds for such exemption, including, but not limited to, documents which, if disclosed, would constitute an, unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; would impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations; are trade secrets or are maintained for the regulation of commercial enterprise which if disclosed would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise. Public Officers Law §§ 87
A procedure for the protection of trade secrets was established by the addition of section 241.6 to 11 NYCRR (Regulation 71) effective January 11, 1983. The regulation provides that a person acting pursuant to law or regulation who submits any information to the Department may, at the time of the submission, request in writing that the Department except such information from disclosure under Public Officers Law §§ 87.2(d)(i.e. are trade secrets or are records maintained for the regulation of commercial enterprise which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to the subject enterprise.) The request must state the reasons why the information should be excepted from disclosure.
The information thus submitted shall be excepted from disclosure and shall be maintained separate and apart from all other records until fifteen days after it has been determined by the Department (with notice to the requestor) that the information is not entitled to protection from disclosure. Within ten days after receipt of notification by the Department the requestor may submit to the Department a written statement in support of the need to continue the exception from disclosure.
Denial of an exception from disclosure may be appealed, in writing, within seven business days of receipt of written notice of the denial. A proceeding to review an adverse determination of such appeal may be commenced pursuant to and in accordance with Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Such proceeding must be commenced within fifteen days of service of the written notice containing the adverse determination, in accordance with Section 89 (5) (d) of the Public Officers Law.
Very truly yours,
JAMES P. CORCORAN
Superintendent of Insurance