A stated in About my Analytical Ability of this page, I commenced my employment with WorkCover the South Australian workers compensation authority on the 4th of October 1987 as a Claims Officer.
I now discuss the issue about which I had regarding WorkCover's Corporate Governance practices.
In 1995 the then State Government legislated to permit the contracting out the claims management of workers compensation claims to nine Claims Agents. Eight Performance Evaluators, of which I was one, were selected to evaluate the manner with which the Claims Agents managed injured workers’ compensation claims. During the period of 28th - 30th August 1995 I successfully completed an examination on Internal Auditing of Quality Systems in accordance with AS/NZS ISO 9001, 9002 and 9003; certificate number 9672. The Performance Evaluators subsequently formulated and promulgated a suite of performance standards, to be evaluated a six monthly intervals, by which WorkCover could evaluate each Claims Agent’s performance regarding the claims management of its workers compensation claims in accordance with the Act, Regulations, Case Law precedents WorkCover’s policies, procedures and guidelines.
Then in 1998 the number of Claims Agents was reduced to five and the number of performance Evaluators was reduced to four of which I was one. Ultimately in 2001 the Claims Agents were allowed to Self Evaluate their respective workers compensation claims and I became the sole person within WorkCover who had the responsibility to validate the Claims Agents self evaluation program.
Shortly thereafter I began to have concerns with the manner with which Allianz was managing and self evaluating its workers compensation claims and raised my concerns with management. Over time I became significantly concerned about the matter and raised serious concerns with management. My concerns appeared to fall on deaf ears or in the alternative were not passed on to senior management, however; if they were, it appeared that they were not taken seriously.
In my opinion the situation had became untenable and I therefore considered I was left no alternative but to raise my concerns with the then Minister. I subsequently ‘blew the whistle’ on WorkCover and Allianz respectively. The resulting Ministerial investigation found that my disclosures were an appropriate disclosure of public interest information under the Whistleblowers Act 993 and that the review substantially vindicated me in raising the issues. The matter was kept in house and out of the Public Domain.
Conflict of interest by WorkCover Board members.
Once again in my roles as Performance Evaluator and sole Validator, I had, on two separate occasions reason to raise my concerns with the Manager, Corporate Affairs regarding the conduct of two Board members since they were acting contrary to the Board’s charter.
On one occasion I became aware of a Board member who, having her own rehabilitation business, requested that she be given original Rehabilitation and Return to Work Plans of other Rehabilitation Providers. Presumably she wanted to learn about the return to work strategies, practices and procedures of other Rehabilitation Providers.
The second occasion being when, a member of the Board who was a union secretary, requested that he be given details of how redemptions were calculated and the due process of how they were applied in finalising a workers compensation claim.
A meeting was arranged between the Manager, Corporate Affairs, my Supervisor and myself to discuss my concerns wherein I was instructed not to concern myself about such matters.