The Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) of NSW is a statutory corporation that regulates the compulsory third party (CTP) personal injury insurance scheme for motor vehicles registered in NSW. CTP motor vehicle insurance is compulsory in all Australian States and Territories and is designed to ensure that compensation is available to those who are injured in motor vehicle accidents.
The MAA is funded by a levy on CTP premiums. It was initially established by the NSW Parliament under the Motor Accidents Act 1988 in 1989. The scheme was amended by the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (the MAC Act) in 1999. The purpose of the MAC Act was to lower the price of CTP premiums for the majority of NSW motorists, to reduce the level of litigation in resolving claims and to ensure that medical treatment for injured people occurs promptly and cost-effectively.
The MAA continues to be constituted under section 198 of the MAC Act and defines its corporate governance as the set of arrangements it has in place that clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Minister, Board of Directors, Council and Management and the relationships between them.
The Minister is accountable to the Parliament and the people of NSW for the performance of the MAA. The Minister also advises Cabinet and the Government on the progress, efficiency and effectiveness of the CTP Scheme. Ultimately the Minister is responsible to the community, especially the CTP premium payers and persons injured in motor vehicle accidents, for the provision of an affordable CTP Scheme.
The Minister appoints the Board and Council members, and the MAA General Manager. The Minister directs the Board and the Council in their capacity as the elected representative of the shareholders in the Scheme, i.e. NSW CTP premium payers.
The Minister is the public face of the CTP Scheme and the prime focus for the media on all aspects of the scheme. The Minister communicates with the authority through the General Manager and Chairperson of the Board.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is responsible to the Minister through the Chairperson of the Board. The Chairperson directs reports and recommendations from the Board to the Minister. The role of the Board is to:
- monitor the integrity of the scheme against Government objectives
- recommend changes to the scheme
- oversee the business of the MAA, ensuring it is operating in accordance with its mission statement
- set policies for the operation of the MAA
- provide independent guidance to the management of the MAA
- set performance criteria for the MAA
- monitor organisational performance.
The Board has set up an Audit Committee to assist it to discharge its responsibilities for setting financial policies, to review and ensure the adequacy of financial statements and accounting practices and to review the work of internal and external auditors. The committee will examine the adequacy of the Risk Management and Fraud Control strategy.
The Motor Accidents Council
The Motor Accidents Council is a working group comprised of representatives of sectional interests, appointed by the Minister. It is accountable to the Minister, via the Board.
The role of the council is to facilitate input from those with an interest in the Motor Accidents Scheme. The council considers issues referred to it by the board or the authority with a view to providing advice and recommendations.
The council may also consider issues of interest raised by their constituents, however, the priorities of the Council are determined by the Board.
The General Manager is appointed by the Governor on the Minister's recommendation and is responsible to the Minister and Board of Directors. The MAC Act gives the General Manager responsibility for managing and controlling the affairs of the authority.
In addition, the General Manager is responsible for:
- providing leadership to the organisation
- managing the MAA's day-to-day operations
- creating an ethical working environment
- supporting the Board in its governance role.
The General Manager has statutory responsibilities under a number of Acts in addition to the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999.
The MAA interacts with other government agencies and jurisdictions and has ongoing contact with stakeholders through handling complaints, answering ministerial correspondence and maintaining extensive databases on the CTP Scheme operation.
The MAA is also required by legislation to provide administrative and other support to the Motor Accidents Council and may provide it with advice or recommendations. However the MAA is not accountable to the Council in any of its functions.
MAA staff communicate with the Minister, Board members and Council through the General Manager.