PEARL RIVER, NY – April 13, 2005 – All members of the insurance industry recognize that regulations and reporting are now an even larger part of our daily life. But how those changes impact how we gather and share information is a major concern. ACORD (www.acord.org), the insurance industry’s data standards association, examines these issues in its newly released ACORD Strategic Analysis: The Impact of Standards on the US Regulatory Landscape available through ACORD’s Website.
“Data requirements will continue to escalate and how we meet these demands is critical for corporate survival,” said Gregory A. Maciag, president and CEO, ACORD. “As we continue to face issues ranging from corporate responsibility to terrorism, we need to make regulatory compliance more efficient and cost effective. Data standards can make that happen.”
To meet these increasing needs, ACORD is working with its membership, other standards bodies, and trade associations from the insurance and adjacent industries to find ways to facilitate communication and compliance. One of the first tasks ACORD took on was to create a prioritized list of current regulatory measures and initiatives. ACORD then analyzed how standards could help members meet their data requirements.
A major focus of the Analysis is on the release of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119 (OMB A-119) which promotes the Federal government’s use of voluntary consensus standards rather than government developed standards. The circular states that “agencies should recognize the positive contribution of standards development and related activities. When properly conducted, standards development can increase productivity and efficiency in Government and industry.”
The OMB A-119 Circular states that there are five primary characteristics of voluntary consensus standards bodies: openness, balance of interest, due process, an appeals process, and consensus.
“A major rationale for this Analysis was to show how data standards, ACORD standards as well as those from any number of standards development organizations, play a crucial role in complying with these demands,” said Beth Grossman, assistant vice president, Industry and Government Affairs, ACORD. “The need for cooperation among data standards developers is critical at this time and we are proud to have had input from a number of these organizations on this effort.”
The ACORD Strategic Analysis was an outgrowth of a key part of ACORD’s Legal, Industry and Government Affairs Department’s mission — to examine the issues of regulatory changes as they impact on standards development in insurance.
About ACORD: Based in New York, ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) is a global, nonprofit insurance association whose mission is to facilitate the development and use of standards for the insurance, reinsurance and related financial services industries. With offices in London as well, ACORD accomplishes its mission by remaining an objective, independent advocate for sharing information among diverse platforms. ACORD Standards and services improve efficiency and expand market reach. Affiliated with ACORD are hundreds of insurance and reinsurance companies, and thousands of agents and brokers, related financial services organizations, solution providers, and industry organizations worldwide.