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Auditor-General endorses ACC's claimant management

Media Release 29 April, 2004

Auditor-General endorses ACC's claimant management

ACC's management of claimants has been given a clean bill of health after a lengthy investigation by the Auditor-General.

"Overall, ACC's case management practices are thorough and work well, and ACC staff have a professional approach," says the Auditor-General's report on ACC's Case Management of Rehabilitation and Compensation made public today.

The Auditor-General's investigation paid particular attention to the management of claims in ACC branches. These are claims which require rehabilitation and compensation and are likely to be more complex and costly.

"These are also claims where those affected have a great deal at stake, and where there is the greatest risk of something going wrong," the Auditor-General said.

"Sometimes ACC claimants do not fully appreciate the legal limitations placed on ACC staff, and what they can provide."

"Overall, ACC's case management function is performing well. We found no systemic failings, and ACC has measures in place to try and ensure consistency of individual practice throughout its offices, as well as compliance with legislation."

The Auditor-General's report also said that ACC had made the transition from being "essentially a payment-processing organisation" after the introduction of case management in the mid-1990s.

"There is now greater rigour in reassessing ongoing cover and entitlements, and promoting a return to work or independence as quickly as possible," the report said, noting that this is consistent with ACC's governing legislation.

"Many people, both inside and outside ACC, told us that the organisation is performing better now than in the past."

ACC Chief Executive Garry Wilson said the Auditor-General's report was pleasing but not surprising.

"Our practices were thoroughly investigated by the Controller and Auditor-General and found to be robust," he said.

"As an organisation committed to continuing improvement, the report is an excellent benchmark for measuring ACC's gains in recent years."

"Needless to say, an investigation of this rigour has found matters that would benefit from more attention, but none strikes at the integrity of ACC's operations.

"Most of the Auditor-General's suggestions for improvement are being addressed. The report will be circulated to all ACC branch staff so they can take on board its recommendations."

ENDS


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