Auditor-General slams ACC, Government reacts

ACC Minister Judith Collins today welcomed the Independent Review of ACC’s Privacy and Security of Information, and the Auditor-General’s Inquiry into aspects of ACC’s Board-level governance.

Ms Collins says ACC must deliver the high level of protection people rightly expect for their personal information and the independent report’s recommendations give clear directions for improvements.

“New Zealanders expect to be able to trust in ACC and be confident their sensitive information will be managed securely, and with care and respect.

“ACC staff have done their best, but they need leadership, tools and processes in place to support them in the important work they do.  I am encouraged by the Board’s stated commitment to implementing the report’s recommendations in full.

“I have already put in place a new Service and Purchase Agreement to rebalance ACC’s priorities and set new targets to ensure ACC meets the highest standards of best practice and service for its clients.

“There is a great opportunity now for ACC to restore the public’s trust and confidence. Genuine culture change will take time, but with the right systems and processes, focussed leadership, and commitment to change, ACC can make positive progress.

“I am particularly pleased the authors of the independent review have provided a timeline for improvements in the privacy and security of information. I expect these to be met as a priority,” Ms Collins says.

Also released today, the Auditor-General’s Inquiry into aspects of ACC’s Board-level governance found senior Board members should have managed a client conflict of interest better and failed to recognise and appreciate the risks to ACC of the symptoms of systemic failure.

“The Auditor-General’s report makes it clear that neither the wider Board, nor the Chief Executive were aware of the issues,” Ms Collins says.

In addition, the Board did not have the right protocols to manage risks arising from conflicts of interest with claimants.

“The Auditor-General found the Service and Purchase Agreement the Government has put in place will lead to a more balanced and comprehensive approach to the governance and operation of ACC.

“Building on the strengths of the current four members, I am putting together a reconfigured Board that will have the right experience and the right commitment to leadership to take ACC forward,” Ms Collins says.