MOJ casts doubt on RTA portal deadline
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) deputy director of civil justice David Parkin has hinted at a likely extension to the tabled April launch date of the new whiplash portal.
Parkin’s comments come just one week after the Motor Insurers Bureau, which has produced the website supporting the consumer-facing portal, launched it to claimant representative and compensator organisations.
Speaking yesterday at the Association of British Insurers conference, Parkin said that ministers and civil servants were now in talks about whether the system will be ready to go live on 6 April, as originally planned.
He said ministers were aiming to launch the service in April but that he “would stretch credibility” if he left his comments on the matter at that.
He continued: “It is clear we have policy issues to resolve still around ADR, treatment of vulnerable people and minors, work to do with the Civil Procedures Rules Committee and technical essential things, for example the laying of the whiplash tariff in parliament.”
Last week’s announcement concerning the website launch also included notification that the system was undergoing a second phase of testing.
Parkin was unable to confirm when the rules and pre-action protocol would be published, only saying they would be made available when in a “fit state”.
However, he added that he understood it was important to make a decision as soon as possible and conceded that testing beyond what was totally necessary would be a “recipe for utter failure”.
The portal titled Official Injury Claim was established to deliver the Civil Liability Act, which received royal ascent on 20 December 2018 and related to RTA whiplash claims and the personal injury discount rate.
The reforms were brought in to address the rising number of whiplash claims and consequent cost to consumers via inflated insurance premiums. The service relates to road traffic accident related personal injury claims under £5,000.