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3 June 2021
NSW state-owned insurer icare will cut almost 100 positions in changes to reduce layers of management and improve accountability as it seeks to improve performance.
CEO Richard Harding has already shaken up the group executive in an organisational reset since taking over the top role in January and says the latest action represents the next step in simplifying the business and bringing decision-making closer to the people served by icare.
“Almost 100 roles will become redundant across the organisation and two thirds of these are management roles,” he said.
“No customer facing roles will be made redundant. The front line at icare is a fantastic NSW public asset that I will continue to leverage and build upon, ensuring the organisation is focused on what it was set up to do.”
icare is completing a two-week consultation on the changes, which will take effect next financial year.
“While such times are always difficult in the short-term, having clarity of purpose, clear accountability, and bringing leaders closer to the people we serve will enable the organisation to better meet community expectations long-term,” Mr Harding said.
An independent review by retired Supreme Court judge Robert McDougall into the performance of icare found reforms introduced after the organisation’s launch in 2015 were introduced too quickly and without adequate testing. The findings also criticised a disregard for “proper and prudent” procurement practices.
The report, delivered to NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello, included 49 proposals for reform, while noting improvements are currently underway.
“It is clear that the new management team is determined to remedy the problems of the past and to turn icare into the organisation that the legislature expected it to be,” Mr McDougall says.
Mr Harding in February announced a leadership overhaul, involving the creation of a new governance role and the departure of a number of executives as functions were better aligned to bring end-to-end accountability.
“Over the past two months we have undertaken further work to apply this across the entire organisation, with the goal of removing layers of management, reducing complexity and improving the information flow between the front line and the board,” he said last week.
The changes also mean icare will be in better shape to address the McDougall recommendations, Mr Harding says.