Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 No 10
Division 7.2 Dispute Resolution Service
7.2 Dispute Resolution Service
(1) The Authority is to establish, in association with its operations, a unit to be known as the Dispute Resolution Service.(2) The Service is to consist of merit reviewers, medical assessors, claims assessors and such staff of the Authority as the Authority determines.(3) If a provision of this Act confers on the Dispute Resolution Service a function in relation to any matter other than a dispute about the assessment of a claim under Division 7.6, a merit review matter, a medical assessment matter or a miscellaneous claims assessment matter, that function is to be exercised in accordance with the Motor Accident Guidelines by a decision-maker designated by the Dispute Resolution Service.
7.3 Objects of Dispute Resolution Service
The objects of the Dispute Resolution Service in dealing with claims and disputes are as follows:(a) to provide a timely, independent, fair and cost effective system for the resolution of disputes that is accessible, transparent and professional,(b) to assess claims and disputes fairly and according to the substantial merits of the matter with as little formality and technicality as is practicable and to minimise the cost to the parties,(c) to ensure the quality and consistency of decision making by decision-makers,(d) to make appropriate use of the knowledge and experience of decision-makers,(e) to establish and maintain effective communication and liaison with stakeholders concerning the role of the Service,(f) to publicise and disseminate information concerning the dispute resolution system and the role of the Service.
7.4 Appointment of merit reviewers, medical assessors and claims assessors
(1) The Authority may appoint any person who, in the opinion of the Authority, is suitably qualified for the purpose to be a merit reviewer, medical assessor or claims assessor for the purposes of this Act.(2) A person appointed as a merit reviewer, medical assessor or claims assessor may be a member of staff of the Authority.(3) A decision-maker has the functions that are conferred on the decision-maker by or under this Act.(4) The terms of appointment of a medical assessor may restrict a medical assessor to disputes of a specified kind.(5) The Authority is to ensure that, as far as reasonably practicable, there are medical assessors appointed in the regional areas of the State.(6) The Authority may remove a merit reviewer, medical assessor or claims assessor from office at any time.(7) A decision-maker who is not a member of staff of the Authority is entitled to be paid the remuneration (including travelling and subsistence allowances) that the Authority may from time to time determine.(8) Nothing in this Part prevents a person being appointed as a decision-maker of more than one class.
7.5 Principal Claims Assessor
(1) The Minister is to appoint a person who is an Australian lawyer as Principal Claims Assessor.(2) The Principal Claims Assessor has and may exercise all the functions of a claims assessor under this Act.(3) The Principal Claims Assessor is, in the exercise of his or her functions, subject to the general direction and control of the chief executive of the Authority. However, section 7.6 applies to the Principal Claims Assessor in the same way as it applies to a claims assessor.(4) The Principal Claims Assessor can delegate to any claims assessor any of the Principal Claims Assessor’s functions under this Act, except this power of delegation.(5) Schedule 3 contains provisions relating to the Principal Claims Assessor.
7.6 Control and direction of decision-makers
(1) A claims assessor is, in the exercise of his or her functions, subject to the general control and direction of the Principal Claims Assessor.(2) A decision-maker (including a claims assessor) is not subject to control and direction by the Principal Claims Assessor, the Authority or any Public Service employee with regard to any of the decisions of the decision-maker that affect the interests of the parties to the merit review, medical assessment or claims assessment concerned. The Principal Claims Assessor, the Authority or any Public Service employee may not overrule or interfere with any such decision in respect of any such assessment or review.(3) This section does not affect the exercise of the functions of the chief executive of the Authority under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 with respect to decision-makers who are members of staff of the Authority.
7.7 Provision of training and information
The Authority may make arrangements for the provision of training and information to decision-makers to promote accurate and consistent decisions by decision-makers.
7.8 Protection of decision-makers
(1) A matter or thing done or omitted to be done by a decision-maker in the exercise of the decision-maker’s functions does not, if the matter or thing was done or omitted in good faith, subject the decision-maker personally to any action, liability, claim or demand.(2) Any such liability attaches instead to the Crown.(3) A decision-maker is, in any legal proceedings, competent but not compellable to give evidence or produce documents in respect of any matter in which he or she was involved in the course of the exercise of his or her functions as a decision-maker.