Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When a 9-year-old girl tried to call 911 to report that her father allegedly ambushed her mother in December, she couldn’t get through because their hotel required guests to dial “9” first.Brad Dunn was later charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Kari Hunt Dunn, in the Texas case that sparked a reexamination of security protocol in the hotel and tourism industry. Kari’s family joined Suffolk County lawmakers and supporters backing legislation that would require hotels and motels to update their phone systems to allow direct calls to police.“She followed the instructions and she did not get help,” Hank Hunt, the victim’s father, told reporters Thursday during a news conference on Long Island. He wondered aloud if things could have turned out differently if one of his granddaughter’s four calls went through.Suffolk Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Solanga) and Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) proposed the bill, which passed the Public Safety Committee and will be subject of a public hearing at the legislature Tuesday. The proposal is among the first in the nation addressing the issue.“We expect this [bill] to spread across the state and across the country,” said Trotta.Hunt started a petition with more than 450,000 supporters on Change.org calling on Congress to pass “Kari’s Law,” proposed by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). Federal Communications Commission launched an inquiry into the multi-line phone system used in hotels and motels. And the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHALA) polled its members on how guests reach help by dialing 911.“The results came back pretty dismal,” said Hunt. The survey found that guests reach emergency services if they dial 911 without an access code in only 44.5 percent of franchise hotels and 32 percent of independent hotels.“We want those rules to be the same across every state line,” said Hunt. “If you dial 911 from any phone, you’re going to get help.”John Tsunis, chairman of New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association, agreed.“Can you imagine picking up a phone, desperate for emergency services, and dialing 911 and not being able to reach help,” he said. “Parents teach their kids to dial 911 in an emergency so it’s an important initiative that we drop the nine.”The modification of phone systems has already made its way to the Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook, where the press conference was held. It took only a day to install a new program for the communication service, Tsunis said.Without such upgrades, the AHALA poll found that hotel guests have a one-in-three shot of dialing 911 and connecting to a dispatcher. Hunt hopes to turn the tragedy into an opportunity to create change that saves lives.“I’m not doing it for Kari, but on behalf of her and any other people who have been affected by this problem,” concluded Hunt. “I would be somewhat relieved on my part that she didn’t die in vain.”
RESAVER, the recently launched pan-European pension project for researchers, is tendering for investment managers for the cross-border IORP it is setting up, according to an EU tender notice.The tender is being conducted using the competitive dialogue process, and is being managed by Aon Belgium, which won a four-year contract to provide support services to the project at the beginning of this year.RESAVER, or the Retirement Savings Vehicle for European Research Institutions, is now inviting expressions of interest from companies interested in tendering to provide pension fund investment services to “a second-pillar occupational DC pension multi-country IORP registered in Belgium”. The contract is proposed to last for five years, with the possibility of extending it to eight years. On the basis of the responses to the pre-qualification questionnaires, RESAVER will shortlist at least three applicants to take part in the dialogue stage.Aon said it was not looking for creative solutions at this stage but was at the dialogue stage instead.To achieve economies of scale, Aon said it was intended that RESAVER Insurance would offer the same investment funds to insurance participants as were offered to IORP participants.It said both the RESAVER IORP and RESAVER Insurance vehicles would have to offer “a comprehensive range of investment funds (…) to support the project multi-country, multi-vehicle, multi-currency specificities”.Since the project is starting from scratch, the investment solution must be suitable for any size of assets, it said, which will involve keeping the organisation simple at the beginning, with only a few investment options.At the same time, the organisation will have to be ready to change in the future, when assets under management and number of participants have grown.RESAVER is also tendering for administration services, as well as custody and audit services.The deadline for requests to participate is 2 November 2015 at 5pm, and decisions on the contracts to be awarded are to be made by 28 January 2016.The costs of setting up the IORP are being covered by the European Commission. Aon has said it will take 15 years for the fund to finance itself.