The joint powers authority, called the Self Insurance Program for Employees (SIPE), was established in 1976 for the purpose of providing the services necessary and appropriate for the development, operation and maintenance of a self insurance system for workers' compensation claims against the public educational agencies who are members. At that time there was a board of Directors with a membership of twenty-five school districts. The overall goal has been to provide service and quick response to SIPE member school district needs in the area of worker's compensation. R.L. Kautz and Company was the SIPE claims administrator.
In 1983 Santa Barbara City College District withdrew from SIPE and a year later the Santa Barbara city schools also followed.
In 1988, the SIPE Board of Directors established a Safety Officer/Risk and Loss Control Manager position to assist member school districts in developing Safety Engineering, Risk/Loss Control and Industrial Hygiene Programs.
In July 1991, SIPE signed a contract with Worker's Compensation Administration (WCA) as claim administrator for the Santa Barbara SIPE.
In July 1992 the SIPE Board of Directors contracted Mr. Han J. Helling of Helling and Associates, an independent contractor, as a consultant to the Santa Barbara SIPE.
- To administer the Joint Powers Agreement pursuant to the provisions of the California Government Code, Title 1, Division 7, Chapter 5, Article 1, Section 6500-6515 (Joint Powers Agreements) Section 990.8 of Government Code (insurance by two or more public entities), and Sections 35214, 39603, 81602 and 81603 of the Education Code relating to the joint exercise of powers between school districts and community colleges.
- To provide a self insurance plan for workers' compensation claims against SIPE member districts.
- To provide legal representation for workers' compensation claims.
- To provide services as may be necessary for the payment and handling of workers' compensation claims.
- To provide safety engineering, loss control and industrial hygiene services.
- To provide a third party claims administrator for payment, Investigation and litigation of claims.
The Board of Directors is made up of one member from each member school district constituting a board membership of 23 with elected officers being a board president, a vice-president and a secretary and treasurer. The president of the board is the chief executive officer and has general supervision and direction of the business of the agency. The SIPE Board of Directors has three sub-commitees: The Fiscal sub-committee, a Reasonable accommodation sub-committee and a Nomination sub-committee.