In February 2017, the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour requested that the Auditor General of New Brunswick carry out an audit of WorkSafeNB. Phase one was focused on governance and was released on June 12th, 2018. Today, we welcome the results of the Auditor General’s second phase of the audit, focused on the management of injured workers’ claims.
The audit report found that the claims management system framework adopted by WorkSafeNB is reasonable and that many of the policies are consistent with industry best practice. The report also found that WorkSafeNB has an opportunity to improve the medical treatment and return to work outcomes for injured workers. The Auditor General made 28 recommendations for improvement in three key areas:
WorkSafeNB accepts all of the Auditor General’s recommendations. They fully align to the objectives of our business transformation that is currently underway to significantly improve process efficiencies and outcomes for injured workers and employers.
A key aspect of achieving excellence in performance is the investment in a new system to support our claims management and rehabilitation team. The legacy claims management system was built over 25 years ago and, while it has served us well for many years, investing in a new system will mean a more efficient and modernized WorkSafeNB. This will allow us to better support our clients, process information more quickly and ultimately help reduce the time lost from work due to workplace injury.
This system transformation will also enable us to better monitor trends, determine whether we are achieving our service delivery goals, and provide better data on our claims management performance.
The Auditor General also noted certain aspects of WorkSafeNB’s legislation related to the Appeals Tribunal that were unique when compared to other jurisdictions. Since the work on the audit concluded, legislation was passed in December 2018 that addresses this aspect of the audit report’s findings and aligns our province’s statute with the rest of Canada. I want to thank our minister, the Honourable Trevor Holder, and the Government of New Brunswick, for acting swiftly to introduce and enact these amendments.
We fully commit to working with the stakeholders we serve to continuously improve our workers’ compensation system and I would like to thank the Auditor General for her careful consideration of WorkSafeNB’s claims management process and her thoughtful recommendations.
Acting Director, Communications, WorkSafeNB
506 632-2270, firstname.lastname@example.org