icare welcomes release of the McDougall Review

icare has welcomed the release of the independent review by the Hon Robert McDougall QC.

icare welcomes the release of the final report of the icare and State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 Independent Review by the Hon Robert McDougall QC.

icare acknowledges the mistakes of the past, respects the findings and conclusions of the Review and we will work with the Government to implement the recommendations that apply to us.

icare Chairman John Robertson said the McDougall report was a key milestone for icare and the wider State Insurance sector and was thorough, fair and provided key areas of improvement.

"The icare Board is committed to getting the organisation focused back on what it was set up to do – caring for injured workers and road users and supporting NSW businesses, homeowners and the NSW Government.

"Today's McDougall report was one of the top priorities for the NSW Treasurer when he appointed me as Chair. On behalf of the entire icare Board, we accept the findings, respect the conclusions and will implement the recommendations relevant to icare fully.

"Work has already started on many of the recommendations including, bringing different expertise onto the Board and improving Risk and Governance practices.

"We will work closely with all stakeholders and welcome the opportunity to input into discussions about broader policy or legislative reform," he said.

icare CEO Richard Harding said the problems of the past were unacceptable and while the overall intention for change was right, the execution didn't meet community expectations.

"I will refocus the organisation to fix these issues and get back to basics – supporting people to get back to work and life after an injury.

"icare has already taken steps to address many of the matters that are referred to in the report, but there is still a long way to go.

"We have already restructured the organisation around the schemes we manage, introduced new governance policies, reviewed our remuneration framework, tightened our procurement practices, committed to reducing operating costs by $100 million, and more.

"A new leadership team has also been finalised and has three key focuses:

  1. Improving risk and governance—to meet community and regulatory expectations
  2. Improving performance—particularly 'return to work' and reducing internal costs
  3. Driving an accountable culture—particularly for our leaders.

The recommendations in the report will help us build on this progress and ensure that we put injured people and employers first as we continue to strengthen our governance to become a better organisation.

"We've already set up two streams of work dedicated to achieving this. The first is focused on accountability, risk and governance, and culture, and the second is about improving the performance of the workers compensation scheme.

"icare remains committed to transparency which is why we have engaged an independent provider to assure the delivery of the McDougall recommendations. We will also provide quarterly updates on their progress on the icare website.

"To begin, we have today released the external review of the Comensura commercial arrangements (PDF 4.7MB). This was considered by Mr McDougall and found there was a credible commercial rationale for the procurement and a competitive public tender process was conducted, with appropriate oversight and governance," he said.

icare acknowledges the Law and Justice Committee Review, which will form part of icare's broader strategy in response to the recommendations in the McDougall Review.

icare key reform actions to date

Risk and governance

  • Appointment of four new Board members, including Chairman John Robertson.
  • Significant executive changes, including the appointment of a new CEO and Group Executive of Workers Compensation.
  • A new organisational structure with clearer accountabilities for scheme performance.
  • Establishment of a Board level governance committee to review and monitor icare's governance policies and structures.
  • Implementation of a new risk and compliance operating model, which sets higher standards for compliance, risk reporting and conflicts of interest management.
  • Strengthening our relationship with the State Insurance Regulatory Authority through regular executive two-way and Board meetings.
  • Continued rollout of our procurement improvement program, which includes becoming fully compliant with our GIPA obligations and the removal of the use of the Nominal Insurer (NI) exemption unless permission is sought and given by the icare Board.


  • Initiated significant changes to the claims management model.
  • Establishment of the Nominal Insurer Advisory Committee, which includes unions, industry groups and government bodies, who meet to provide advice on initiatives and improvements to the NSW Nominal Insurer.
  • Actively assessing eligible claims to ensure people that may have been underpaid are remediated.
  • Adjustment of workers compensation premium rates to ensure long-term financial sustainability of the Nominal Insurer.
  • Increased transparency about our performance through the publication of the claims performance dashboard. This includes significant data improvements so our stakeholders can trust the data we are sharing.

Culture and accountability

  • Accepted all recommendations of the independent review into icare's culture, governance and accountability.
  • Publication of the CEO and group executive remuneration levels including bonuses as well as Board member fees.

Learn more about icare's reform program