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October communiqué

Prior to its October Board Meeting, the SIRA Board conducted its annual Strategic Planning Session. Members welcomed discussion on the forward view for Financial Year 2019, and the proposed approach to developing SIRA’s 2019 Financial Year Strategy.

The SIRA Board Members noted that the strategy should (1) focus on improving outcomes for SIRA’s customers, and (2) comprehensively address planned activity across several domains (legal, economic, scientific, human, and technological) to achieve SIRA’s overall goals. The Board will build on this initial strategy development discussion at its meetings over the following few months.

At the October Board Meeting, the Board was very pleased to note that the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 had passed Parliament on 17 October 2018. SIRA will now begin consultation with stakeholders which will assist in the development and implementation of Regulations and Guidelines to support commencement of the dispute resolution amendments before the end of this year.

Board Members noted an update on SIRA’s program of work to review and streamline the existing Workers Compensation Guidelines, and approved draft Workers Compensation Guidelines and related material for public consultation. With development occurring in tandem, Members also noted the status of the Claims Administration Manual (CAM) Project. Following public consultation, it is expected that SIRA will prepare final versions of both the CAM Standards of Practice and amended Guidelines for review and approval by the Board in December 2018.

Ms Nancy Milne, OAM, currently Deputy Chair of the SIRA Board, and Chair of the SIRA Audit and Risk Committee and Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Premium Committee of the Board, provided an update on the September and mid-October 2018 meetings of the CTP Premium Committee. Board Members noted the Committee’s discussion on the CTP Premium Parameter Review currently being conducted by the CTP Scheme Actuaries and the peer reviewer Actuaries; the CTP Scheme Actuary’s report on 2017 Scheme monitoring as at August 2018, and the CTP Scheme whole-of-scheme risks and mitigations report.

The Board was pleased to approve the Interim 2017 CTP Scheme Performance Report, 1 December 2017 to 30 June 2018 for publication.

Board Members approved an issues paper on the Point to Point industry for consultation. Arising from targeted consultation at a Horizon Scanning Workshop for the Point to Point industry on 18 September 2018, the issues paper is expected to be released in November 2018, and forms part of SIRA’s strategy to develop CTP arrangements for the Point to Point industry beyond current arrangements which expire on 1 December 2020.

The Board noted a progress update on the development of Transitional Excess Profit and Loss Mechanism Guidelines. Once the current set of draft Guidelines is consolidated, the Guidelines will be re-circulated to CTP insurers for feedback.

The SIRA Board noted a Financial Year 2017/18 update on the CTP Risk Equalisation Mechanism (REM) from the REM Clearing House, and that CTP insurers have been advised of their individual data analyses. Members also noted SIRA’s intention to perform a review of the REM in early 2019 after it has been in place for 12 months, and in consideration of feedback received during hearings of the Legislative Council Law and Justice Committee 2018 Review of the CTP Scheme.

Board Members noted progress on the early stage establishment of a Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee of the SIRA Board.

Other items considered at the October 2018 Board meeting included:

  • As a standing item at its meetings for the foreseeable future, the Board considered the Financial Services Royal Commission proceedings and action SIRA should take to enforce compliance by insurers in the mandatory insurance schemes which SIRA stewards.
  • The Board was provided an update on Home Building Compensation scheme reform.
  • Board Members noted an update on the implementation of section 39 and section 59A (limit on payment of compensation for medical expenses) of the Workers Compensation Act 1987. Members had the opportunity to consider the progress to date on developing a strategy for workers transitioning off medical benefits under Section 59A.
  • The Board was provided a quarterly update on key SIRA People and Culture statistics.

Trevor Matthews
Chairperson, SIRA Board