I am pleased to present the 2019-20 Chair Report for Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation having been reappointed by the Australian Government as Chair of ARPC for a second three-year term. Member Robin Low was also reappointed for three years, so ARPC will continue to benefit from her significant insurance accounting experience.
Michael Callaghan AM PSM has completed his term as a Member of ARPC in the period. Mike made a significant contribution to ARPC, particularly in guiding development of ARPC strategy and strategic projects and his contributions will be missed.
Maria Fernandez PSM has joined the Board as a new Member and we look forward to benefiting from her deep and distinguished public sector experience with security and intelligence agencies.
ARPC stands in solidarity with our private and public sector stakeholders, who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us have been touched professionally or personally by this devastating global event. The aftershocks will be with us for some time and we will need to continue to adapt and be resilient.
For ARPC, it’s been a year of consolidation with key strategic projects completed or significantly progressed despite the impact of COVID-19.
In March this year, ARPC was scheduled to launch the findings of ARPC’s 12-month cyber terrorism research project, with our research partners, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions unfortunately led to the postponement of the March Seminar until later in the year.
The purpose of the research study, titled ‘Insurance risk assessment of cyber terrorism in Australia’ was to identify and explore current and prospective threats, plausible scenarios as well as the practicalities of extending insurance coverage to include cyber terrorism in Australia. The detailed research report is available via a digital request form on our website.
Business insurance policies and the ARPC scheme currently exclude coverage for acts of computer crime (including cyber terrorism) which affect commercial and high value residential property in Australia.
ARPC anticipates that our research will contribute to informing stakeholders about the systemic risks to the economy and Australian society due to this protection gap. The research findings will be a key input into Treasury’s 2021 Triennial Review of the TI Act. More detail on the research findings can be found in a separate article - ARPC reveals cost of cyber terrorism.
ARPC’s Board performance was strong in the period and included effective stewardship of the organisation through the COVID-19 pandemic. ARPC has a dedicated and engaged Board. In 2019-20, the Board met seven times and the Audit and Compliance Committee met four times. There were valuable contributions from each Member, and I thank them for their commitment.
The ARPC Board and senior executive team attended the annual strategic planning workshop in Canberra in March 2020. The strategic planning workshop included Board engagement with key Government and insurance sector stakeholders. The Board also engaged with a wide range of stakeholders at our Sydney stakeholder event in July 2019. Additionally, Board Members attended the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) Annual Dinner and the Australian and New Zealand Insurance Industry (ANZIIF) Awards.
ARPC continues to monitor governance trends in the public and private sectors.
I am delighted to report that ARPC has received a Silver Award for its second annual report entry into the Australasian Reporting Awards (ARA), where ARPC’s 2018-19 Annual Report proficiently addressed the demanding ARA criteria. This improves upon the Bronze Award earned for the 2017-18 Annual Report.
ARPC is strongly positioned to achieve its vision, which is to be an effective provider of terrorism risk insurance that facilitates private participation, supports national resilience and reduces losses arising from catastrophic events caused by terrorism.
Ian Carson AM BEc PGDip Professional Accounting FAICD Chair