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AIG’s new new luxury policy…

In 2008, AIG took a lot of heat for some of its free-spending practices at a time when the company was relying on the government for billions in bailout money. So this past September the company came out with a 5-page “luxury expenditure policy” that addressed some of the key areas of abuse like corporate jet usage, office decorating (or redecorating), and parties and other events.

Yesterday, in this 8-K, AIG made some changes to that policy. The biggest changes in the new luxury policy, which apparently took effect on Dec. 30, but wasn’t filed until yesterday for some odd reason, makes several changes to corporate jet usage. Under the old luxury policy, the guest policy was a bit fuzzier. The new policy also requires AIG’s Chief Administrative Officer to approve every use of the plane. Here’s a snip from the new policy:

Accompanying travel on corporate aircraft by family members or guests of the AIG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other executives is permitted if a documented business reason exists for the family member or guests to travel with the executive.
The Chairman of the Board or the Chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee must approve in advance any accompanying travel on the corporate aircraft by family members or guests of the AIG CEO. The AIG CEO must approve in advance any accompanying travel by family members or guests of the AIG CAO. The AIG CAO must approve in advance any accompanying travel by family members or guests of any executive other than the AIG CEO. Personal use of the corporate aircraft by the AIG CEO is permitted if the personal use is incidental to a business trip and the incremental cost is paid by the AIG CEO. All other personal use of the corporate aircraft is strictly prohibited.

There’s also a new rule that prohibits any elected official or candidate from traveling on the AIG corporate jet. Now wouldn’t that be a picture worth a thousand words?

In the filing, AIG doesn’t give any reason for the changes so you have to wonder whether the policy that was already in place and which already outlawed personal use of the corporate jet, wasn’t quite strict enough. After all, these sorts of policies are written by attorneys who are paid to be risk-averse and it’s hard to imagine them tightening the reins without some sort of situation triggering the revision.