The Press on ACC

June 15th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

 editorial:

Some change at the is plainly necessary. The row between Pullar and the organisation intensified when accidentally sent her an email that included files containing confidential information about many other clients.

It has since emerged that such inadvertent disclosure of private information has occurred on a number of occasions.

Given the amount of highly sensitive information the ACC holds about individuals, it seems extraordinary that, so many years after email became the most common means of communication, the organisation still cannot manage it without this kind of blunder.

Other government entities that hold confidential private information – the Inland Revenue Department and Work and Income, for instance – seem to be able to do so.

Some comments made in messages between ACC personnel handling Pullar’s case have also emerged that indicate a kind of cavalier dismissiveness towards her.

These remarks have understandably been seized on as reflecting ACC’s general attitude towards its claimants.

There is no evidence that this is true but even if the comments are not at all widespread, they are deeply unprofessional and should not be tolerated.

Absolutely. I am amazed the person who made them is still working there.

Whatever other shortcomings might have occurred during his chairmanship, Judge has done that. ACC’s net deficit last financial year was reduced from $10.3 billion to $6.7 billion and it is on target to meet its legal obligation to be fully funded by 2019.

Financial viability is crucial if ACC is to survive as a no- fault accident compensation system and meet its obligations to claimants.

It must be run as a sound business. It is right, for instance, that claims are examined rigorously so that they may be dealt with fairly.

Any “change of culture” that would turn ACC into some sort of soft-hearted arm of the social-welfare industry, as some critics appear to imply, would be a backward step.

As an employer I endorse this also.

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9 Responses to “The Press on ACC”

  1. YesWeDid (1,002 comments) says:

    What happened to the social contract that we have we ACC? Where they provide comprehensive cover and we in turn wave the right to sue? How does this fit in with the ‘sound business model’ that ACC now works under?

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  2. Paulus (2,296 comments) says:

    As a former employer the first question I would ask of the employee who “inadvertantly” sent the list to Pullar is “Why ?”
    And would have to be satisfied “beyond reasonable doubt” that this was not deliberate as the revelation of it would seriously impinge upon the confidentiality of information to enable ACC to perform its tasks properly.

    Slightly differing – why is so much confidential information now being “leaked” to the Green Party by some public servants in Wellington ? another case today in Herald.

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  3. m@tt (535 comments) says:

    “I am amazed the person who made them is still working there.”
    If it was out of the ordinary behaviour then you’d be correct, but given the weight of anecdotal evidence points to this being the cultural norm rather than the exception, ACC would be hard processed to use it as an excuse to dismiss just one individual.

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  4. KevinH (1,128 comments) says:

    The leaks are proof positive that the culture at ACC is broken, what I mean by that statement is that some staff don’t agree with the decisions taken regarding some cases.
    ACC is a monopoly and is protected by statute, the potential to abuse that situation is a possibility. The media ie the Herald has posted many stories where claimants have cried foul particularly when the review of decisions are handled in house where the decision making is prejudiced by self interest(ACC).
    I would advocate for an independent review panel comprised of clinicians not affiliated with ACC to ensure that those decisions are made on medical grounds and not due to political influence or personal bias.

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  5. trout (865 comments) says:

    The brave lady who has cared for her son for 17 years (injured in a rugby accident at 19 – paralyzed – has gone on to gain a Uni. degree) has told 1ZB that her dealings with ACC have been problematic over the years but the best service she had was when ACC was faced with competition from the private sector.

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  6. Viking2 (10,715 comments) says:

    Two major problems.
    First and foremost the culture needs to become customer oriented. Remembering the customer is also the payer. That may mean more flexibility in rates and payments, including sorting out extracting payments from those that contribute nothing but claim. e.g does any beneficiary have ACC deducted from their state sponsored and taxpayer funded salary.
    After all if you contribute nothing why should you get sympathy and money spent.
    Also required is at least some minimum contribution from each claim. Every other insurance claim has an excess so why shouldn’t ACC., Stop the trivial.

    More important though is that we have another 18 years or more of Bear Markets ahead of us. ACC has its funds in a large part in shares. Shares which are more likely stagnant for a longtime rather than increasing in value. One is left wondering how they consider they can increase the wealth when invested that way. (N.B. the same is true for pension funds.)

    Not a rosy senario IMHO.

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  7. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    “…..soft-hearted arm of the social-welfare industry……,”

    That’s what you got from Clark and Co, so stop whinging about John Key. (Not you DPF – a pre-emptive comments for the knuckle draggers.)

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  8. Manolo (12,624 comments) says:

    That’s what you got from Clark and Co,..

    And what Key’s feeble Labour lite government is unable to dismantle, even keep under control.

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  9. mudrunner (82 comments) says:

    Yes indeed, why is the person who made it happen, still there?

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