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Impact

Report on performance

Outcome 3

Access to compensation for people with asbestos-related diseases where the Commonwealth has a liability through management of claims

Comcare manages the Commonwealth’s asbestos-related disease liabilities at common law in accordance with the Commonwealth Legal Services Directions, Comcare’s Asbestos Litigation Policy Statement and relevant Court/Tribunal Orders/Rules. The Asbestos Litigation Policy Statement establishes the framework for the prioritisation by Comcare of its management of asbestos-related claims, given the urgent nature of many such claims and competing considerations.

The objectives of program 1.3—management of common law asbestos claims—were:

  • to manage primary asbestos disease claims in an efficient and equitable manner and in accordance with the order of priority set out in Comcare’s Asbestos Litigation Policy Statement
  • to pay compensation in a timely manner once a Court/Tribunal Order is made or a Deed of Release is duly executed
  • to recover contributions to compensation payments from third parties which, in turn, should assist in the preservation of funds for future compensation payments to primary claimants who have an asbestos related disease.

Comcare set out to:

  • manage asbestos-related claims liabilities consistently and in accordance with any relevant legislation or Australian Government policies
  • deliver an accurate data set and other information about asbestos claims liabilities to Comcare’s external actuary and the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to enable the future projected liabilities to be valued accurately.

Table 3: Performance results for Program 1.3

PBS key performance indicators Performance measure 2009–10 target 2009–10 achievement 2010–11 target 2010–11 achievement 2010–11 variation
Comcare will comply with the Legal Service Directions, the management objectives contained in the Asbestos Litigation Policy Statement and any Court/Tribunal Rules/Orders in respect of all asbestos related disease claims. Manage claims in accordance with Legal Services Directions, the Common Law Asbestos-Related Claims Policy Statement and Court/Tribunal Rules/Orders 100% compliance Comcare is not aware of any non-compliance reports 100% compliance Comcare is not aware of any non-compliance reports nil
The data Comcare provides to external actuaries for the purpose of annual actuarial assessment is materially accurate. Provision of complete and accurate data to external actuaries Data provided was complete and accurate The data provided in 2009–10 was complete and accurate Data provided was complete and accurate The data provided in 2010–11 was complete and accurate nil

Variance explanation

The target that Comcare resolve 65 per cent of primary claims within 180 days was not met for 2010–11. Although the results were not within the target percentage range, there has been an increase in the overall number of claims resolved during the 2009–10 year, and an increase in the overall number of claims resolved under the 180-day target. By way of comparison, in the 2008–09 financial year 65 claims were resolved, of which 47 were resolved within the 180-day target. In the 2009–10 financial year 92 claims were resolved, of which 54 were resolved within the 180-day target. This reflects a larger caseload being managed by Comcare since taking over ADF claims in 2008. It also reflects an increased focus on resolving long term and more complex claims.

While the target that Comcare recover five per cent of the value of asbestos claims settlements has been exceeded, it has increased three percentage points from the previous year’s result (from 11 per cent in 2009–10 to 14 per cent in 2010–11). This is largely attributable to an increase in the proportion of resolved claims being ADF claims, in which successful recovery against third parties has traditionally been more difficult. By way of comparison, ADF claims made up 29 per cent of all claims resolved in 2008–09. In 2009–10 this figure had increased to 46 per cent.