The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) today reported results for 2012 and provided a review of activities across the range of its business functions.
State Claims Agency
The State Claims Agency (SCA) achieved significant savings in the management of clinical claims in 2012. An independent actuarial assessment projected that €127.5 million would be required to meet the cost of the Clinical Indemnity Scheme for the year. The actual cost in respect of the scheme, including successful recoveries from third parties, was €84 million – a saving of €43.5 million.
The further delegation of the management of EL/PL/PD claims portfolios of various State bodies, primarily the HSE, has yielded significant savings. These bodies no longer have to pay insurance premiums and the cost of claims is met directly by the State. Since 2010, this has yielded a cashflow saving of €63.7 million. Based on the current outstanding estimated liability associated with these claims, a long-term saving of €26 million is expected.
The total number of claims under the SCA’s active management at end 2012 rose by 9 per cent from a year earlier to 5,762.
The estimated liability against all active claims at end December 2012 was €1.1 billion, broken down as follows:
- Clinical Claims €970 million (86%)
- EL/PL/PD Claims €157 million (14%)
In August 2012 the SCA announced a new procurement structure requiring barristers to engage in a competitive tendering process under which their fees will be capped at up to 25 per cent below current levels. The new arrangements also aim to foster young talent at the Bar and create greater competition by enabling barristers who have been in practice for less than five years to supply their services to the Agency. In excess of 900 tenders are currently being evaluated by the SCA, which expects to announce the composition of the barrister panels being created under the new structure towards the end of the first quarter of 2013.
The Government has decided to establish a State Legal Costs Unit within the SCA to deal with third party costs arising from certain Tribunals of Enquiry. Recruitment is underway and it is expected that the unit will be operational in February 2013.