New CEO releases governance report

icare Chair and CEO welcome independent governance, culture and accountability review and commit to taking action to refocus the organisation.

New icare Chairman John Robertson and new CEO, Richard Harding, today welcomed the independent Governance, Accountability and Culture (GAC) report and said further action would be taken immediately to refocus the organisation on core priorities—caring for injured workers and road users and supporting NSW businesses, homeowners and the NSW Government.

The independent report, commissioned by the icare Board, has already been provided to Robert McDougall for consideration in the McDougall Review and has been provided to the regulator (SIRA) as part of the response to their 21-Point Action Plan.

"The report provides a road map towards change to lift icare's processes, behaviours and culture to meet community expectations and we will take action," icare Chairman John Robertson said.

"The Board commissioned the independent GAC Review to help us drive the improvement of the organisation. This was consistent with the key priorities (PDF 0.2 MB) the NSW Government gave me when I was appointed Chair of icare in September 2020 and I understand will be a considered in the McDougall Review," he said. 

icare CEO, Richard Harding welcomed the independent GAC report and acknowledged the significant task ahead for the organisation, noting that the report highlights that icare's risk and governance systems and culture needs to change.

"We welcome the report and have already taken action on many of the issues highlighted—new employee policies, tighter rules and guidelines, more stringent reporting, new avenues to speak up when there is an issue."

"I'm conscious that this will be considered in the McDougall Review. While we progress with implementing key findings from this review, we look forward to Mr McDougall's consolidated recommendations when they are handed down at the end of April."

"We have already commenced a program of change to address the core outcomes of the report. Key to changes currently underway is a new more accountable leadership team to bring in new thinking, reduce complexity, and evolve the organisation."

"My team will have 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; and
  3. Driving an accountable culture—particularly for our leaders."

"Aligning the leadership team to the different schemes we manage will ensure end-to-end accountability so that injured workers, road users, businesses and the NSW Government receive services from those who understand them best."

"This includes the newly announced Group Executive of Nominal Insurer who will be tasked with improving return to work, including paving a pathway for more competition in case management services when she commences with icare on 24 March 2021. This will involve seeking industry and community input to ensure we get this right."

"Also, a new Group Executive for Risk and Governance will be charged with lifting our risk, compliance and governance performance and will have a dual reporting line to the CEO and to the Board. We will advertise for the position shortly."

"As a NSW public financial corporation we are committed to the care and support of injured workers and road users, businesses, and NSW government people and assets. That is our sole duty. We will work tirelessly to deliver on this," Mr Harding said.

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