Quite literally actuarial self-regulation is at stake because the trust of the actuarial profession and public are at stake. How can we submit ourselves to standards of practice when we can’t see the process used to set them? The Academy thinks the way to prevent employers and special interest from having undue influence is to have a small number of anointed actuaries develop standards behind closed doors, far from the eyes of the public. But, the exact opposite is true. The best way to keep the process fair and in the best interest of the public is to allow all to observe.
Or, to put it another way, have you ever heard anyone say, “Gosh, actuaries are just too engaged in the standard setting process”? Or, have you heard someone say, “You know the biggest problem with the Academy is that they are just too open to new ideas and points of view”? On the other hand, have you heard professionalism speakers exhort us to all be more involved? Have you heard our leaders speak about getting higher member engagement? Doesn’t closing these meetings take us in the opposite direction of member involvement and engagement?
The Academy has a long-standing special relationship with insurance regulators and the NAIC. References to the Academy membership and the Qualification Standards are common place in insurance regulations. If state insurance regulators were to write their own actuarial qualification standards instead of relying on the Academy, those standards would be written subject to state Sunshine laws which promote open government. If the NAIC were to take up the task of writing actuarial standards of practice, it would be done under the NAIC’s extremely robust open meeting policy. There is no reason regulators and the NAIC should be comfortable with closed CoQ meetings and the ASB chair having complete discretion over who is admitted to ASB meetings.