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Media release

23 August 2012

Coalition welcomes opportunity provided by reports

The two reports on ACC commissioned by the Privacy Commissioner and the Office of the Auditor-General may highlight failures but they also provide an opportunity to rethink the direction of the scheme, according to the ACC Futures Coalition.

“We welcome these reports,” said ACC Futures Coalition spokesperson Hazel Armstrong. “They confirm that there were problems at the governance and senior levels of the corporation with regard to the management of risk and claimants’ information.”

The report of the Privacy Commissioner (conducted by KPMG) found that the release of claimants’ details to Bronwyn Pullar, which occurred in August 2011, was a genuine error but occurred because of systemic weaknesses within ACC's culture, systems and processes. 

“There is much to like about the KPMG report,” said Ms. Armstrong, “for example, we are pleased to see the emphasis that the report places on organisational culture.  The report emphasises the need for a balance between ‘privacy, customer service and efficient and effective management so that “firm is also seen as fair” by ACC and its external clients and stakeholders.’  The report also stresses the importance of a culture of respect for claimant privacy which will lead to the wellbeing of clients and to achieving community trust in ACC.”

“We see these points as recognition of the link between the problems with the culture around the protection of information and the wider culture of the corporation,” said Ms. Armstrong.

“When discussing the culture of corporation the report raises the challenge arising from conflicting political views on the role of ACC and the resulting fluctuations in scheme performance, stating that this has resulted in ambiguity for staff in terms of customer service and managing claimant entitlements. There is a need for multi-party agreement on the future of the scheme,” said Ms. Armstrong, “something which the ACC Futures Coalition has been calling for since its inception.”

“These reports represent an opportunity to achieve a consensus on the future direction of the scheme,” said Ms. Armstrong. “We have begun the process of developing our own manifesto for ACC and are organising a one-day seminar in late October to assist us with that process. We want to contribute to a debate about how we can restore the scheme to its original founding values and we hope that all the parties and the Minister, will join us.”

“Both of the reports also identify failings at governance level around management of risk,” said Ms. Armstrong.

 

ENDS

Contact: Hazel Armstrong: (027) 472 1793

09:01AM Friday, 24 August, 2012

 
 
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