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Big News: Secretly Surveying The ACC

Big News with Dave Crampton

Surveying The ACC – But You`ll Never See Results

The ACC has contracted BRC Marketing & Social Research to complete confidential telephone interviews with claimants this week to provide feedback to the corporation on how their services are appreciated by claimants. The random survey of claimants is one of many conducted throughout the year by the research company, and the one conducted this week focuses on claimant satisfaction.

The results will go direct to ACC and will assist the Corporation in improving its services. However nobody apart from the research company and the Corporation will see the results as ACC has elected not to have the survey results made public. That’s how confidential these surveys are. If you pay levies to ACC, these levies are paying for claimant surveys, yet you are not allowed to see the results, even if you are a participatory claimant. Consequently you will never know what ACC need to improve on, or what they are competent at, and if nothing changes as a result of the survey results, again, you will never know.

The survey covers rehabilitation, customer service, entitlements and timeliness. It does not touch on reviews, appeals, nor does it question the difference in claimant satisfaction since Catalyst Injury Management took over claims of those on the scheme longer than a year to get rid of what is known as the “tail”.

These surveys appear on the surface to be a way that ACC can be provided with feedback on what surveyed claimants think of ACC in order that services can be improved without anybody holding the corporation accountable, and without the media and others commenting on the results. ACC boss Gary Wilson said last month that claimant satisfaction is around the 70 percent mark, so it remains to be seen (by ACC, not the public) whether Mr Wilson’s assertions are dated or unfounded.

Former Race Relations Conciliator and new ACC board member Greg Fortuin was surprised that ACC did not permit the BRC Marketing and Social Research to release survey results to participants. He was concerned that inquiring participants were told that in no circumstances would they be able to get hold of the survey results. Mr Fortuin has expressed his desire to canvass the response to recent articles in the Sunday Star Times to attempt to understand the nature of complaints and complainants to the corporation.

The survey results should be out about the same times as a code of claimants’ rights takes effect early next year - yet you think if claimants were taking part in a survey they should be able to find out the results of that survey as of right.

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- Dave Crampton is a Wellington-based freelance journalist. He can be contacted at davec@globe.net.nz

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