McKinsey & Company has been a major influence on insurance company claim processes over the last 25 years. We are following a Freedom on Information lawsuit brought against FEMA where McKinsey documents were requested and FEMA failed to produce them.1

Articles about otherwise secret McKinsey & Company documents depicting claims process analysis and their impact on insurance company claims departments are not strangers to this blog:

We even noted secret McKinsey documents in the National Flood Insurance arena in the post, FEMA Whistleblowers Speak-Out at Washington, DC Hearing.

It is obvious that McKinsey & Company has it hands in the National Flood Insurance claims processes. Most Merlin Law Group attorneys assume that McKinsey & Company’s involvement may possibly explain, in part, why the flood claims process is so messed up. Here is a recent discussion of the McKinsey document request status in the FEMA Freedom on Information case:

McKinsey Communications

In the First Status Report, FEMA stated it was preparing a proposed list of search termsand custodians with respect to the McKinsey communications and documents in Item 13. In addition, so that Plaintiff could better evaluate its options, FEMA agreed to provide, at Plaintiff’s request, estimates of the number of records that would require further review if the results are not narrowed. FEMA provided the following information on June 12, 2017 to Plaintiff:

In early May, FEMA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer pulled approximately 13 GB of .pst (email) files based on the search protocol outlined below. FEMA’s FOIA processing and tracking system, FOIAXpress, lacked the capability to directly upload documents for file sizes of 1 GB or higher. Therefore, FEMA requested assistance from the Department of Homeland Security’s Privacy Office to upload those records to their Advanced Document Review (ADR) server determine a document and page count. The DHS Privacy Office notified FEMA on Friday, June 9, that the 13 GB email pull contains 85,302 documents (i.e., number of emails, excluding any attachments). The document count is reduced to 22,525 documents after removing duplications (which, again, excludes any attachments to emails) and contains approximately 52,703 pages, excluding any attachments to the emails. FEMA is still in the process of trying to get an estimate of the number of pages that will need to be reviewed.

FEMA utilized the following protocol in its searches for emails and documents exchanged between FEMA and McKinsey relating to the Sandy claim review process. First, FEMA identified fifteen (15) FEMA employees with the Sandy Task Force most likely to possess responsive communications and documents. FEMA is sending a separate communication to Plaintiff’s counsel today identifying those custodians. Second, FEMA pulled any email for those custodians with the term “McKinsey” in it, which would include any emails with in the to/from/cc lines of the emails, and any attachments to those emails. Third, FEMA pulled emails for the period when the Sandy Task Force was established until the date of the email collection, i.e., from March 8, 2015 to April 24, 2017.

In light of the foregoing, FEMA requests that Plaintiff provide further guidance on how to limit the search, i.e., through narrowing search terms, limiting the custodians, and limiting the date range. As reported above, FEMA has been reviewing records at a rate of approximately 1,650 pages per month. Assuming that each document averaged only two pages in length, which we know the tally to be slightly more than 2-pages per document currently, a review of the McKinsey documents would not be completed until approximately January of 2020 without further narrowing. With this new information, the Parties intend to confer on the scope of this request, before determining whether the Court’s involvement is needed. FEMA will continue to review records in response to the other requests while the parties attempt to negotiate acceptable search parameters for the McKinsey communications.

Maybe FEMA should just publish all its secret McKinsey documents on the Internet just like Allstate did and save the taxpayers a bunch of money.

Positive Thought For The Day

I’m always asked, ‘What’s the secret to success?’ But there are no secrets. Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.
—Dwayne Johnson
1 Weisbrod Matteis & Copley v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, No 1:17-cv-00365 (D. D.C.).