State Claims Agency
Under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2000, the management of personal injury and property damage claims against certain State Authorities ("Delegated State Authorities"), and of the underlying risks, was delegated to the National Treasury Management Agency (“NTMA”). In addition, the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2014, provided for the delegation to the NTMA of the management of claims for costs. When performing these functions, the NTMA is known as the State Claims Agency (“SCA”). The SCA incurs expenditure on awards, claim settlements and associated costs. The SCA recovers this expenditure from the Delegated State Authorities who are liable in respect of claims.
The SCA has three objectives as follows:
- A duty to act in the best interest of taxpayers in matters of personal injury and property damage litigation, to act fairly and ethically in its dealings with people who have suffered injuries and/or damage and who take legal actions against the State or State bodies, and the families of these people;
- To provide risk advisory services to Delegated State Authorities with the aim of reducing over time the frequency and severity of claims;
- To deal with certain legal costs claims.
In February 2003, the management of clinical negligence claims and associated risks under the Clinical Indemnity Scheme (the "CIS") was delegated to the SCA. The CIS was established in order to rationalise medical indemnity arrangements for the health service. Under the CIS, the State assumes full responsibility for the indemnification and management of clinical negligence claims.
In 2008, the Government delegated the management of historical claims against consultant obstetricians which were previously managed by the Medical Protection Society ("MPS") to the NTMA under S.I. No. 628/2007, National Treasury Management Agency (Delegation of Functions) (Amendment) Order, 2007. The delegation of the management of the claims included the transfer of an existing fund to the SCA. Following draw down of the balance of the fund in 2013, any remaining claim settlements and expenses are being met by the SCA under the Clinical Indemnity Scheme, and reimbursed to the SCA by the Health Service Executive (the "HSE").
The SCA’s remit was further expanded in February 2011 with the delegation of the management of personal injury and property damage claims against 13 new authorities and several additional classes of claims (including personal injury related to bullying/ harassment, members of the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána while serving abroad and prisoner in-cell sanitation claims).
Claims alleging personal injury in respect of the medicinal products Thalidomide and Nimesulide were delegated to the SCA in April 2012. In October 2013 the Government delegated to the SCA the management of personal injury claims concerning the ingestion of the medicinal products Celvepan and Pandemrix.
Following a Government decision in 2012, a State Legal Cost Unit was set up within the SCA in February 2013 to deal with third-party costs arising from certain Tribunals of Enquiry. The functions of the Legal Cost Unit were considerably extended under Part 5 of the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2014 and the delegation that was put in place under the National Treasury Management Agency (Delegation of Claims for Costs Management Functions) Order 2015.
In April 2014 the claims management of a further 61 public bodies (including the Voluntary Hospitals’ Group Delegations) was delegated to the SCA, bringing the total number within the SCA’s remit from 56 to 117. Another delegation by Government in June 2015 has further increased the number of public bodies to 129.
Under section 53 of the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2014, as commenced by Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 586 of 2014, the State Claims Policy Committee was dissolved on 22 December 2014.