§ 31–1403. Conduct of examinations.
(a) Upon determining that an examination should be conducted, the Mayor shall issue an examination warrant appointing one or more examiners to perform the examination and instructing them as to the scope of the examination. In conducting the examination, the examiner shall observe those guidelines and procedures set forth in the Examiners’ Handbook adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The Mayor may also employ any other guidelines or procedures the Mayor deems appropriate.
(b) Every company or person from whom information is sought, or its officers, directors, and agents, must provide to the examiners appointed under subsection (a) of this section, at all reasonable hours at its offices, convenient and free access to all books, records, accounts, papers, documents, and any or all computer or other recordings relating to the property, assets, business, and affairs of the company being examined. The officers, directors, employees, and agents of the company or person must facilitate the examination and aid in the examination so far as it is in their power to do so. The refusal of any company, by its officers, directors, employees, or agents, to submit to examination or to comply with any reasonable written request of the examiners shall be grounds for suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal of any license or authority held by the company to engage in an insurance or other business subject to the insurance laws of the District. Any proceedings for suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal of any license or authority shall be conducted pursuant to §§ 31-4305 and 31-2502.03.
(c) The Mayor, or any of his or her examiners, may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, and examine under oath any person as to any matter pertinent to the examination. Upon the failure or refusal of any person to obey a subpoena, the Mayor may petition a court of competent jurisdiction, and upon proper showing, the court may enter an order compelling the witness to appear and testify or produce documentary evidence. Failure to obey the court order shall be punishable as contempt of court.
(d) When making an examination under this chapter, the Mayor may retain attorneys, appraisers, independent actuaries, independent certified public accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners, the cost of which shall be borne by the company which is the subject of the examination.
(e) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to limit the Mayor’s authority to terminate, suspend, or complete any examination in order to pursue other legal or regulatory action pursuant to the insurance laws of the District. Findings of fact and conclusions of law made pursuant to any examination shall be prima facie evidence in any legal or regulatory action.
(f) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to limit the Mayor’s authority to use and, if appropriate, to make public any final or preliminary examination report, any examiner or company workpapers or other documents, or any other information discovered or developed during the course of any examination in the furtherance of any legal or regulatory action which the Mayor may, in his or her sole discretion, deem appropriate.
(g)(1) Any insurer, agent, or broker may cause its accounts, records, documents, and files described in subsection (b) of this section to be created, recorded, copied, or reproduced by any photographic, photostatic, microfilm, microcard, miniature photographic, optical disk, electronic imaging, electronic data processing, electronically transmitted facsimile, printout, or reproduction of electronically stored data or other process which accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for the reproduction of an account, record, document, or file.
(2) If the items so stored are not the original but accurately represent the original, the original may be destroyed unless held in a custodial or fiduciary capacity, but only if the data is easily accessible to the department in readable form and readable reproduced copies are obtainable.
(3) A record so stored and accurately reproduced is admissible in evidence as the original in any judicial or administrative proceeding whether the original is in existence or not. The introduction of a reproduced record does not preclude admission of the original. This shall not be construed to exclude from evidence any document or copy thereof which is otherwise admissible under the rules of evidence.