Dual investigations shows culture problems at the ACC

Thursday 23rd August, 2012
Press Release.

New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists

Today’s dual reports from the Privacy Commisioner and the Office of the Auditor General into the privacy breaches at the ACC show deep concerns about the manner in which privacy is handled, and shows systemic weaknesses within ACC’s culture, systems and processes.

“This report will do little to reassure all those who were effected by the privacy breach and it is very clear that the ACC’s approach to privacy is still of deep concern and clear deficiencies remain.” says Kyle MacDonald of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists.  “Along with the Auditor General’s report released today, I believe this underlines the fact that there have been, and remain, ongoing problems with the organizations culture.”

“It seems to me that despite ongoing statements by the ACC to the contrary, the blame for this massive breach of privacy and the subsequent frustrations of Ms. Pullar in trying to have her concerns heard, land squarely at the feet of the ACC and senior management.  The ACC’s efforts to attack and dis-credit Ms Pullar should now also be called into question.”

The independent report commissioned by the Privacy Commisioner describes an “almost cavalier” approach to the management of private claimant information, and that “the importance of personal information and respecting individual’s personal information is not consistent and is often de-emphasised over dealing with the management of the claim/claimant. “

Both reports emphaise the failures of Governance and the systemic and cultural issues that lead to the privacy breach and the way that subsequent events were handled.


Contact: Kyle MacDonald 021 708 689

Click here for a copy of the Office of the Privacy Commisioner’s Report and here for the Office of the Auditor General’s Report.

Leave a Comment

  • Geoff August 24, 2012, 12:08 am

    Agreed; it is indicative of the collective fear of the ramifications of these investigations that two high ranking Officers tendered their resignations not unlike Rats leaving a stinking ship full of rotting fish. The failure of these Officers to make, what have been investigated and shown to be perverted charges, stick against Puller, while having none bought against them is surprising as their rapid departure could be seen as an indicator.

    It is also not surprising that no one is to blame and that apparent ignorance at the board level is given as sufficient excuse for these breaches (The Rt Hon. Collins was quoted today as saying the Board and CEO were unaware of these deficiencies). It appears in this day and age no manager in any organisation around our wonderful globe is required to stand up and take their medicine whether it be financial or physical negligence unless of course they are not working for Government or small business.

    ACC’s strategy was to deflect publicity of the real issue of poor Management away from ACC and on to one of it’s covered claimants in a clear and abusive attempt to subvert justice at the potential cost of Pullers freedom, this organisation has no sense of fairness just a massive Ego built on it’s apparent ability to exist above the law. In my experience such premeditated and complex evil strategies are common place in ACC and systemic in their nature particularly for high cost covered claims.

    ACC needs to be reminded that it administers the Act; its role is not to make law, bend it or evade it; otherwise it is a criminal entity. This idea that 70{1b812f7ed7a77644fff58caf46676f6948311bf403a3d395b7a7f87010507f87} of all claims can go to arbitration or review or any for that matter is an admittance of failure by our Law makers, it is saying that the Act is not clear or doing what it means and therefore it must be challenged at every turn; it also gives ACC the ability to stretch out the review system to it’s own advantage as it is under no compulsion to make a sensible decision as none exists under this strategy. This in itself is obviously contradictory to the original intent of the Act to minimise litigation and make the scheme available to all New Zealanders not just the wealthy. If this is the case then the Act needs some serious attention otherwise it is just a white elephant. By the way recent comments from Ministers and others confirm that this strategy is seen as satisfactory even though the privacy breaches are not.

    Perhaps it would be in the public good for the Government to require ACC to rotate it’s legal council and PR consultants on a regular schedule. It would be better served if all legal council meetings regarding covered claimants are recorded and made available to the claimant as after all this is not a battle to evade claims but rather to administer the Act as passed into Law by Government. I recently had legal council meeting notes withheld under a Freedom of Information Act Request. I don’t see why this should be the case.

    I believe that the short comings highlighted in these reports are sufficient evidence that a further enquiry needs to be commissioned to look into case management and ACC’s cynical approach to the arbitration and review system which it has turned to it’s advantage by employing it as a delaying and cost escalation mechanism thereby effectively penalising low socio economic groups. Many of who have become vulnerable through the negligence of others.

    • Geoff August 24, 2012, 12:11 am

      small business in para two should of course read as “Big Business” as in those too to big fail.

  • Unicorn August 24, 2012, 9:22 am

    Yes Kyle, both reports do show up the failures…

    However none of the other illegal practices have been mentioned have they.

    Now that this privacy issue has finished being investigated, a Royal Commission of Inquiry can be initiated, into all the other corrupt issues regarding claims management, with particular emphasis on the way case managers deal with claimants, including bullying, and blackmail, and the causing of further harm to a claimant by the systemic use of these tactics.

    The Riley Report needs to be discarded as their guide to claimant treatment model.

    The toadie assessors need to be named and shamed.

    The ACC Legislation needs to take precedence over ACC Policy, and ACC, and DRSL staff must be made to adhere to this.

    Case Managers, and Team Managers need to be held accountable for the claimant abuse that they initiate, and the harm that this abuse causes.

    Rehabilitaiion needs to exist.

    There is sooo much yet to be exposed and fixed.

    Someone strong needs to get the Royal Commission of Inquiry started Im sure Kevin Hague will table it at parliament.



  • Unicorn August 25, 2012, 1:57 pm

    I have read the full document now.

    So far, there is NO difference in the way that this claimant is being treated by ACC. Its still the same old same old.

    Surely a CM would read the report, and then immediately comply by changing their bad client attitude – but No – just the same old same old. Are they really that thick?

    We will all know when they actually take this all on board, because we will get apologies from those ACC employees, who have had a hand in our abuse. Until this happens, then there can be no culture change. It would be impossible for a CM to change their psychological attitude towards any claimant overnight, as it has become their norm to have the bully adversarial stance, as commanded of them by those team mangers above them, and then their up-managers too.

    We will probably find that all curent ACC staff will just laugh out loud at the findings of the PC, and the AG reports. Why wouldnt they, theyve been programmed this way since before 2009, to have an ignorant and cavalier disregard for claimant health and safety. And to think-know they are above the Law in everything they do. In effect, they have been spoilt rotten. What happens when you try to get someone who is spoilt rotten to change their behaviour? First, they will go “are you talking to me?” then, they will sulk, then throw a paddy, then sulk some more…..Lets see if there is any change…..Im not holding my breath, coz the corruption is too far gone to be turned around.
    They may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars making staff redundant, or paying them longterm weekly comp for the PTSD caused by being told to change their bad attitude towards claimants and case amangement, into a new caring attitude. This may cause some of their tiny stifled brains so much trauma, that they will be able to make legitimate claims to employment courts and ACC.

    I notice also, that there was absolutely no mention of the existance of a Remote Claims Unit…..So this area of ACC still remains a hidden and unaccountable entity, with almost no information other than its existance. Even the Ombudsman REFUSES to give me information on the RCU – he just flatly refuses. My files were sent there directly after my latest review wins – all my physical and sensitive files sit within the RCU. I think I have a right to know something about the unit, but Im NOT allowed to according to the ombudsman. Surely they dont just send your files off there coz you won at review, and this made them sooo angry!! Theres something sinister about this me thinks – and its my private and personal information. Im at a dead end with it. Is this respect for my privacy? It certainly is not!! I have to ask if KPMG were made aware of this RCU – coz the report says twice, that there are only 3 areas of claims management, being VIP, SCU, and Staff. Beats me…

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