More ACC directors to go

June 13th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A cleanout of the board will continue with two more directors to be released from the top of the troubled state insurer.

Chairman John Judge was effectively shown the door yesterday after political pressure over the Bronwyn Pullar case.

The Dominion Post has learnt that his deputy, John McCliskie, and another director, Rob Campbell, will also be replaced.

ACC Minister Judith Collins confirmed last night that the terms of five board members expired in March, and three would not be renewed.

“I think what you’ll see is a change in direction. The fact is, we have board members whose terms have expired and I’m taking the opportunity to bring in people who I believe will be able to help change the direction,” Ms Collins said.

It will be interesting to see who the new Directors are. They have a challenge ahead of them.

Ms Collins said she had seen a legal opinion prepared by Hugh Rennie, QC, for Mr Judge, which backed the decision to refer Ms Pullar to police over her refusal to return private details about thousands of other ACC claimants she was accidentally sent and blackmail claims.

“I don’t know what else they could do, actually, on the information that they had. They had a situation where the claimant wasn’t giving the information back to them at that stage…

It would be useful for ACC to release this legal opinion. Most importantly so it can be assessed whether it is based on the seemingly false report of the December meeting – or was written after that recording or transcript was made available.

Also if the intent was simply to get the documents returned, then surely the correct course of action would be to have informed the Privacy Commissioner of the privacy breach and ask her office to assist in getting the information deleted by Pullar. Of course they never informed the Privacy Commissioner of the breach.

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18 Responses to “More ACC directors to go”

  1. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I wonder if this is a case the http://www.daedalustrust.org.uk/ would be interested in studying.

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  2. Mark (1,434 comments) says:

    Will Collins cronies be able to change the culture of the organisation. It is time for the government to move towards a competitive model. ACC is behaving like a monopoly that has been under pressure from the Government to recover from its past poor financial performance. Nationals nick smith appoints a hard line accountant as Chair and the financial performance is turned around however the culture becomes even more monopolistic than it was before.

    I love it when I get my ACC Invoices. The carry the warning that if they are not paid on the due date you run the risk of it account been referred to a debt collection agency. This is the first invoice, not one that is overdue. It is the behaviour of an out of control monopoly that is unlikely to be changed with a new chair and a couple of new directors. It is the sort of behaviour that is changed with competition that is fighting to win your customers off you with better service and lower rates.

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  3. peterwn (3,215 comments) says:

    When someone bandies around a legal opinion, it is also useful to see the client’s instructions formal and informal. The opinion may also be influenced by the solicitor’s or barrister’s background knowledge of the circumstances, the personality of the client, what the opinion is likely to be used for, and I hate to say it the likelihood of follow-up work both on the matter in hand and future matters.. They will recognise that in some cases that a blunt opinion would not be well received by a client.

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  4. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    I just don’t understand it
    I have received other peoples letters/data/info in the past and have just destroyed it and notified the senders of the mistake.

    Why didn’t Bronwyn Pullar do the same?
    Why did she seek a meeting with ACC in the first case about this matter?
    Why did she then link the issue of the data with her own case and problems with ACC?
    How can she say that no threats were made or inferred by linking the two?

    Sure no overt threats were made according to NZPolice but why did she not just delete the data/info?

    I am not convinced of her innocence and you know from my writings I don’t care for big government and the way ACC and others act sometimes, they need to be on a tight leash.
    My gut says that she didn’t destroy the data, as she wanted to use the possession of it as leverage and that’s why she had Michelle Boag with her.

    Forgive me if I’m wrong but I just can’t get around the fact that she didn’t just destroy the data.

    [DPF: I agree the data should have been destroyed or given to the Privacy Commissioner immediately. I said that at the very beginning. However that doesn't mean ACC were justified in laying a complaint with the Police, and misrepresenting what happened at the meeting]

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  5. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    Ms Pullar’s conduct may well have fallen short of what is required for a police prosecution. But she should have handed back the material immediately and unconditionally and I understand she did not. I regard her actions as disgraceful in that regard. But I also think that Boag woman had a clumsy involvement in this affair which would be typical of her. A Minister’s career lies in ruins because of these two stupid women as well as the fallout elsewhere.

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  6. Mark (1,434 comments) says:

    Michael,
    I agree with you 100%. Pullar and Boag are by no means appear to be the innocent party they claim to be. If they did not intend to use the leaked material as leverage why was it brought up, why was the material not deleted and if they wanted to blow the whistle theproper avenue was the privacy commissioner, Boag of all people, as Pullars advisor should have counselled her on this. Boag’s behaviour poking her head out from the stair landing during the TV3 piece last night was cringe-worthy. Schoolgirl behaviour you might expect at a netball game.

    The victim in this was Nick Smith. Pullar had no compunction is dealing to him in her quest.

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  7. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    peterwn

    Exactly particularly if it is the case that the lawyer receives a lot of work from that organisation.

    As to others criticism of Bronwyn Pullar, as a private citizen she isn’t held to the same level of accountability or expectation as that of a Government Department. Indeed, ACC and other governments departments are obliged to deal with people fairly regardless of their comparative intelligence, race, means or any other matter. The customer is never wrong whether you like them personally or not. I read that an advisor to ACC had called her a narcissist, that reveals the real problems with ACC, attitude, incompetence and a failure to appreciate their role is client based. Opinions from QC and so on is pure bs by gutless wonders trying to wriggle out of paying.

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  8. anonymouse (708 comments) says:

    The CEO is now gone by lunchtime…….

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  9. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    The ACC Chief Executive has just resigned. I must say Judith Collins impresses me the way she deals with problem management issues. I regard her judgement as spot on.

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  10. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Sure no overt threats were made according to NZPolice but why did she not just delete the data/info?

    Is that what you would’ve done? I sure as hell wouldn’t have. ACC would then have denied that it had leaked the personal info. In fact, it knew about the leak for quite some time but only after the matter was made public did ACC apologise to those affected. So we can conclude that if Pullar had deleted the info, ACC wouldn’t have admitted the privacy breach and wouldn’t have apologised. Indeed, it would have pretended that nothing had happened.

    ACC cannot be trusted to tell the truth. It said that Pullar used extortion but there is no evidence to support that. It is just as well she didn’t delete the personal info given to her and just as well she taped her conversation with officials.

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  11. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > I must say Judith Collins impresses me the way she deals with problem management issues.

    That could be the next Tui billboard.

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  12. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Forgive me if I’m wrong but I just can’t get around the fact that she didn’t just destroy the data.

    She did destroy the data and if you can’t understand why it wasn’t destroyed immediately, I suggest you haven’t thought through the issue at all.

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  13. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    If she hadn’t taped the conversation she’d probably be facing extortion charges and ACC would be rubbing their hands with glee, there’s something real sick about people that make false accusations, and when it’s institutional the danger is everybody’s.

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  14. wynkie (86 comments) says:

    Pullar did return the file and before ACC went to Police! Pullar did destroy the file.

    Is you believe otherwise you are buying into ACC’s spin.

    Further there was nothing criminal in Pullar holding onto the unsolicited file.

    I agree with Ross69 – the file provided evidence of a breach. However, one thing that seems to have been totally overlooked by all the commentators is that the file provided evidence ACC was published the names of sensitive claimants and in so doing was breaching court suppression orders. Sensitive claimants names are strictly confidential and should not be published – even internally within an organisation.

    Clearly ACC doesn’t understand privacy or the importance of court suppression orders.

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  15. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6694154/Privacy-Commissioner-late-to-ACC-leaks

    So the Privacy Commissioner, Marie Shroff, wasn’t aware of the leaks until the media informed her. That is truly remarkable. ACC knew about the leaks in December. Why didn’t it inform the Minister and the Privacy Commissioner at that time? It hoped to sweep the problem under the carpet, which it might have been able to do had Pullar immediately destroyed the info sent to her.

    And let’s not forget the long list of alleged failings by ACC in regards to Pullar. I wonder if ACC has responded.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6631240/Full-list-of-Bronwyn-Pullars-complaints-against-ACC

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  16. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Do directors really have that much impact on company culture that all this who-ha is justified?

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  17. Nookin (3,185 comments) says:

    Fran O’Sullivan points out that Bronwyn and Michelle may not be as pure as the driven snow when it comes to the leaked info. She quotes from a letter sent by Boag who clear expresses the view that the return of the info and a settlement with Bronwyn were inter-related and inter-dependant. Not a good view to express in writing.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10812610

    “At that meeting in December Bronwyn advised the ACC managers that a serious breach of privacy had occurred. As she says in her email which follows, it was verbally agreed in that meeting that on agreement on the way forward, Bronwyn would return that document. We walked away from that meeting thinking we had an agreement which Mr Murch would put in writing. When it was received eight days later, it did not reflect our discussions, including the fact that it only allowed her one year to re-establish her business rather than two years, which she did not regard as sufficient.

    “You will see in the correspondence attached to the email I am forwarding that while Mr Murch asked for the return of the data, he did not acknowledge that this would be contingent on reaching an agreement acceptable to both parties, which was our understanding.”

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  18. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Nookin,

    Boag’s email is irrelevant. Pullar already had a tape recording of the meeting in which officials discussed this issue. Boag refers to that meeting in her email.

    We’ve discussed why Pullar didn’t return the info immediately and how it was useful that she didn’t.

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