The Treasurer thanked Mr Lennon for his service since icare’s inception in 2015, and as a member of the Safety, Return to Work and Support Board and the WorkCover NSW Board since 2007.
“The government considered it important that someone with the expertise and skill set of Mark should sit on the board as a strong voice for the workers, and his contribution in that capacity has been important in icare’s first five years,” Mr Perrottet said in a statement.
icare issued a statement saying Mr Lennon had been an instrumental member of the board who brought valued insight and an extensive background in work health and safety and workers compensation.
“His insight and commitment to the needs of injured workers has been a constant reference in our transformation journey as is his extensive knowledge of workers compensation legislation and regulation,” it said.
A Four Corners investigation aired on the ABC on Monday night sparked calls for Mr Perrottett to sack the entire board.
Among the claims were that the agency had under-payed more than 50,000 injured workers up to $80 million and awarded tens of millions of dollars of contracts without putting them out to tender.
Questions also surround the long-term sustainability of the organisation, which reportedly racked up underwriting losses totalling $4.54 billion in the past three years.
Labor finance spokesman Daniel Mookey questioned how treasurer Dominic Perrotett could justify leaving icare’s leadership in place.
“Revelation after revelation shows a torrid culture infesting his $32 billion agency. But the Treasurer still defends icare’s leaders. It’s inexplicable,” Mr Mookey said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mr Perrottet said the government had introduced significant reform to modernise the workers compensation scheme in 2015.
“All significant reforms come with challenges, and this process is no different. The management team and Board have been instrumental in driving this change and seeking to strike a fairer balance between providing for injured workers and meeting the needs of employers,” he told Government News on Tuesday.
“We will continue to make improvements to the workers compensation system and address shortcomings, as we strive to get the best result for around 3.6 million employees and more than 325,000 businesses and Government agencies across NSW.”
icare is the largest public sector insurer in Australia, providing coverage for 329,000 NSW government employees and 82,000 volunteers as well as more than $193 billion of NSW government assets.
CEO of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIA) Carmel Donnelly indicated to Four Corners that she had referred icare to the ICAC.
She described icare’s conduct as “unacceptable”.
Data migration services sought
Government News understands that despite criticism of its service, procurement practices and financial position icare is planning to move its Treasury Managed Fund TMF (scheme), which provides workers compensation for government employees, to the same model as commercial workers.
A procurement document published on July 23 says icare is seeking a contractor to perform data migration services under a limited tender process.
A spokesperson confirmed icare was moving “to an enhanced claims model”.
“Agencies have been actively involved in the planning and development,” the spokesperson told Government News.
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