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August communiqué

At its August meeting, Ms Janet Dore, Independent Reviewer for the Compliance and Performance Review of the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer and independent actuaries Ernst & Young (EY) briefed the Board on their preliminary findings arising from the Review. The Board discussed the extensive stakeholder engagement undertaken by the Independent Reviewer, including consideration of the 163 submissions received during public consultation and numerous meetings with stakeholders across the State. The Board was also briefed on matters relating to the financial performance of the Nominal Insurer and its claims management practices. A final report is expected to be provided to the Board in October and publicly released by the end of 2019.

Dr Graeme Innes, AM Chair of the SIRA Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee, provided a report on the August 2019 Committee meeting. Dr Innes advised Members that the Committee discussed insights emerging from Dispute Resolution Data relating to 1999 and 2017 Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Schemes and considered the project scope for the dispute resolution environmental scan to be commissioned by SIRA.

The Board approved amended Workers Compensation Guidelines and Standards of Practice which support the implementation of Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) legislative amendments passed by Parliament late last year. Members noted that an amended Regulation has also been prepared, with the commencement date for the revised Guidelines, Standards of Practice and Regulation to be confirmed in due course. The amendments are designed to simplify and improve the framework for PIAWE determinations.

Other matters at the August 2019 Board meeting included:

  • The Board discussed the recent findings and recommendations arising from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Capability Review report dated June 2019, including relevant considerations and focus areas for SIRA. Key themes discussed included supervisory and enforcement capabilities, governance, culture and accountability risk and transparency and communication.
  • The Board noted a progress report on several matters relating to the CTP Scheme.
  • The Board were pleased to note the recent launch of SIRA’s claims management guide, a new centralised online resource for workers compensation claims handling in NSW.

Trevor Matthews

Chairperson, SIRA Board