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August communiqué

The SIRA Board held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday 26 August 2020 via Skype.

The Board has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement to bring forward and broaden the scheduled five-year review into the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015.

The Board noted that from March 2021, the Personal Injury Commission (PIC) will form a single, independent tribunal in New South Wales with specialist motor accidents and workers compensation divisions and discussed the introduction of a new Independent Review Officer (IRO) that can deal with complaints about insurer claims in both the CTP and workers compensation schemes.

Board members discussed the recent hearings of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice 2020 Review of the Workers Compensation Scheme and were supportive of the testimony by SIRA witnesses earlier in the week and the continued transparent approach in providing responses to questions on notice.

The Board discussed the updated 21 Point Action Plan arising from SIRA’s 2019  Compliance and Performance Review of the Nominal Insurer managed by  icare and noted that key actions related to return to work targets, allocation of dedicated claims managers and the recommended culture, accountability and governance audit have yet to be progressed by icare.

The Board was pleased to receive its regular update on the Healthcare Review program and to note that at the next meeting the Board is scheduled to receive a summary of a market pricing review which will benchmark SIRA approved fees against those of other jurisdictions and health payers.

The Board noted the Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2020 comes into effect from 1 September 2020 and applies to claims made prior to 1 December 2017.  Under the regulation, regulated fees are to be indexed annually in line with the CPI and insurers have provision to manage more smaller claims; supporting the eradication of claims farming and fraudulent claims.

The Board received an update on the CTP open data portal which has been added to the SIRA webpage to facilitate interactive customer comparisons across the five CTP insurers in NSW: AAMI, Allianz, GIO, NRMA and QBE.

Board members received a report on SIRA’s organisational health and early results from the new ‘Culture Amp’ survey and discussed the actions arising from the results. The Board is looking forward to a more detailed report next month. Board members were particularly interested in the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives underway in SIRA and cluster wide.

Trevor Matthews

SIRA Board Chair