Wednesday, 20 July 2016
The Deputy tabled a question that is totally different from the one he has just asked. I will answer that in the supplementary reply. He asked for the timetable for the review of the book of quantum and that is the question I will answer now. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board, PIAB, is an independent statutory agency and, as Minister, I am not permitted in my executive function to interfere in any way with the day to day operations and functions of PIAB. Section 54(1)(b) of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 sets out the principal functions of the board: "to prepare and publish a document (which shall be known as the 'Book of Quantum') containing general guidelines as to the amounts that may be awarded or assessed in respect of specified types of injury".
The book of quantum was last produced in June 2004 and data was sourced by independent consultants on behalf of PIAB from a number of sources including the Courts Service, the insurance industry and the State Claims Agency. PIAB is reviewing the book of quantum and has engaged outside consultants to assist in this work and it is due to be published in the second half of 2016.
The book is not a recommendation for compensation levels but rather a reflection of the prevailing level of awards, compensation values awarded by the courts, settlements agreed by the insurance industry, settlements agreed by the State Claims Agency, and settlements agreed through the PIAB process.