SIRA was created under part 3 of the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 (SICG Act).
In establishing SIRA, the Government’s intention was to 'create a consistent and robust framework to monitor and enforce insurance and compensation legislation in NSW, and to ensure that public outcomes are achieved in relation to injured people, policy affordability and scheme sustainability' (from the second reading speech of the SICG Act). SIRA’s objectives and regulatory role is set out in the Act as follows:
SIRA’s objectives and regulatory role is set out in the Act as follows:
- to promote the efficiency and viability of the insurance and compensation schemes established under the workers compensation and motor accidents legislation and the Home Building Act 1989 and the other Acts under which SIRA exercises functions
- to minimise the cost to the community of workplace injuries and injuries arising from motor accidents and to minimise the risks associated with such injuries
- to promote workplace injury prevention, effective injury management and return to work measures and programs
- to ensure that persons injured in the workplace or in motor accidents have access to treatment that will assist with their recovery
- to provide for the effective supervision of claims handling and disputes under the workers compensation and motor accidents legislation and the Home Building Act 1989
- to promote compliance with the workers compensation and motor accidents legislation and the Home Building Act 1989.
SIRA is an independent agency located within the NSW Customer Service Cluster. The affairs of SIRA are managed and controlled by the Chief Executive in accordance with the general policies and strategic direction determined by the SIRA Board. Anything done by the Chief Executive on behalf of SIRA is taken to have been done by SIRA (section 19(3) of the SICG Act).
The functions of the SIRA Board are set out in section 18(5) of the Act and include:
- determining the general policies and strategic direction of SIRA
- overseeing the performance of SIRA
- giving the Minister any information relating to the activities of SIRA that the Minister requests
- keeping the Minister informed of the general conduct of SIRA’s activities and of any significant development in activities
While SIRA is not, in the exercise of its functions, subject to the control and direction of the Minister, the Minister may give SIRA a written direction with respect to its functions if the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in the public interest. SIRA must include in its annual report particulars of each direction given by the Minister during the reporting year.
SIRA’s strategic framework
- Financially sustainable schemes
- Affordable premiums
- Optimal outcomes for injured people
- Positive customer experiences
- Public trust in SIRA and the schemes it regulates
Design and reform
Designing and reforming schemes – through policy advice, guidelines, and scheme design and performance
Supervise and enforce
Supervising the performance of regulated parties and enforcing compliance with the law – through monitoring performance and compliance, audits and reviews, and enforcement of the law and its licence conditions
Innovate and engage
Innovating and engaging others to improve customer outcomes – through stakeholder engagement and communication, service delivery, and research and leadership in personal injury
SIRA’s regulatory approach principles
SIRA’s role is to ensure that the schemes it regulates continue to be fair, effective and affordable for policy holders, and for people who make a claim for compensation today or in the future. Since overseeing significant reforms to the schemes, SIRA’s regulatory approach has matured and adapted to new priorities and expectations, including in response the 2019 Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and the 2019 Australia Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) Capability Review.
The 10 principles below outline SIRA’s regulatory approach to assist regulated entities, service providers, customers and stakeholders in the Workers Compensation, CTP and Home Building Compensation schemes to know about SIRA’s focus, the way decisions will be made and how SIRA will engage on matters of scheme design and compliance.
SIRA relies on evidence and does what works – not just what is expected or easy
SIRA is always looking for innovative ways to improve outcomes
SIRA’s current strategic priorities
- Adapt policies, services and regulatory action to COVID-19
- Improve return to work (RTW) outcomes for people injured at work and on the roads, including better reporting and measurement of RTW in NSW
- Improve regulation of healthcare in CTP and workers compensation so injured people receive optimal healthcare at the optimal time for optimal health outcomes
- Strengthen SIRA’s strategic monitoring, supervision and enforcement program
- Align and promote SIRA’s regulatory approach across regulated schemes
- Continue to advance transparency through open data and performance reporting
- Support the implementation of the Personal Injury Commission
- Implement customer conduct principles, customer experience research and reporting
- Advance outcomes and practice in injury recovery through research and collaboration with experts and stakeholders
- Strengthen organisational health and capability