Wednesday, May 11, 2005

 

Coins are lousy investment - Part III

Although we have suggested that BWC Director James Conrad may be hurt by the Coingate scandal, we don't want to suggest that he is the only one whose culpability needs to be examined.

Unlike other state agencies, BWC has a special 5-person Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission. From the BWC website:
The oversight commission meets monthly. Its primary role is to advise and consent on workers’ compensation matters. Duties of the commission include:
-- Making recommendations on BWC policy, investments and premium rates;
-- Reviewing the effectiveness of policies and operations;
-- Reviewing independent financial audits of BWC
Although this gives the commission somewhat less power than a corporate board of directors, the fact that it has both advice and consent responsibilities shows that it is also meant to be more than window dressing for Conrad's operations.

As shown above, the commission is responsible for being the check and balance for BWC executive investment decisions.

The current commission is composed of:
The commission also has several non-voting members including
Our point is that it appears a lot of people on both sides of the aisle were snoozing while the coin investment deal was on the books. Since this thing stretches back to 1997, no one can claim they were taken by surprise.

Our guess, however, is that the Commission has acted up until now the same way the pension systems' boards of trustees acted, namely, as a rubber stamp for the director and the investment officers.

So, now the question is, are members of the BWC Commission helping behind the scenes to get to the bottom of Coingate, or are they attempting to cover their ass?

Wouldn't that be an interesting line of investigation for some of the sleuths at the Blade and the Dispatch? And, to the extent its the latter, shouldn't there be some demand for some resignations from that commission?

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