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