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Inquiry by Auditor-General Welcomed

4 April 2012

Inquiry by Auditor-General Welcomed

The ACC Futures Coalition today welcomed the announcement by the Auditor-General Lyn Provost that her office will conduct an inquiry into aspects of ACC’s governance that will not be examined by other investigations by the Privacy Commissioner and possibly the Police.

“The announcement of this inquiry should be good news for ordinary claimants at ACC,” said ACC Futures spokesperson Hazel Armstrong. “We have been concerned for some time at the culture that has developed at the top of ACC over the last four years that has led to an increasing number of claims being rejected and an increase in appeals against ACC’s decisions. The legislative changes in 2010, the clearing out of the Board by the previous Minister and the relentless focus on ACC as an insurer rather than as an integral part of our social services, have all contributed to this rather toxic culture”.

“We hope that this inquiry, with its focus on governance might begin to lift the stone on this way of working,” said Ms. Armstrong. “Strictly speaking these issues are outside the terms of reference but we hope that if the Auditor-General does turn up wider issues of governance that she will utilise that part of her terms of reference that allows her to report on any other matters that she considers desirable.”

“We also welcome the inquiry because it is likely to be an important step in enabling the corporation, and those it is meant to serve, to move past the recent turmoil and get on with delivering services that meet the needs of injured New Zealanders,” said Ms. Armstrong. “In all the recent claims and counter claims the needs of ACC claimants and beneficiaries have been overlooked and we trust that ACC will be able move forward once the report is completed and any recommendations implemented”.

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The ACC Futures Coalition consists of community groups, academics, organisations representing people who need support from ACC, health treatment providers and unions who have come together around the following aim:

To build cross-party support for retaining the status of ACC as a publicly-owned single provider committed to the ‘Woodhouse Principles’, with a view to maintaining and improving the provision of injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and ‘no fault’ compensation social insurance system for all New Zealanders.


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