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Official Information regarding the tendering out of ACC Reviews beyond FairWay Resolution

David Lawson made this Official Information request to Accident Compensation Corporation

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From: David Lawson

Dear Accident Compensation Corporation,

There is social commentary going around at the moment suggesting that Reviews may be soon be tendered out beyond FairWays Resolution Limited.

OIA Request 1

Please confirm whether FairWay Resolution Limited will be undertaking to tender Reviews beyond FairWay Resolution Limited, and if so please confirm:-

(a) whether this has already been happening and if so when did this practice start,
(b) whether this move will be publicly notified through the media,
(c) if it has yet to commence, when will FairWay's Resolution Limited start the process of tendering out Review cases beyond FairWay Resolution Limited.
(d) since the reviews that are tendered out will still be conducted by Reviewers, being a person who provides services (excluding treatment) to claimants on behalf of or authorised by the Corporation, will the Reviewers who conduct tendered Reviews outside of FairWay Resolution Limited be subject to the full legislative statutory obligations of the Code of ACC Claimants' Rights, since they satisfy section 39 of the Act in terms of the meaning of "Corporation" under Part 3 Code of ACC Claimants’ Rights, and claims Code of ACC Claimants’ Rights.
(e) Will ACC conduct "training and post review decision sessions with Reviewers whom engage in tendered Review Work"
(f) will an ACC client seeking review be given the option of who their Reviewer will be through, by the ACC client being able to choose their Reviewer?
(g) will FairWay Resolution Limited now require all the Reviewers whom have been previously employeed by ACC in any capacity, prior to having secured working for FairWay Resolution Limited to fully disclose to a review applicant that they have previously worked for ACC?
(h) will FairWay Resolution Limited if they tender the Reviews outside of FairWay Resolution Limited require all the Reviewers that conduct tendered reviews and whom have been previously employeed by ACC in any capacity, prior to having secured working tendered Review work for FairWay Resolution Limited to fully disclose to a review applicant that they have previously worked for ACC.
(i) Will FairWay now transparently display the names of their dispute resolution reviewers on their website as they do with all other dispute jurisdictions that they provide mediation services for.
(j) Will FairWay Resolution do the same as questioned in in OIA Request 1 (i) and display the names of Reviewers that they maybe tendering out Reviews to on their website?

OIA Request2,

If the answer to OIA Request 1 above is no, please confirm whether ACC has, or intends to enter into another contract for services, or contracts for services, in competition to FairWay Resolution with separate entity/ies for the provision of providing Review Services under the ACC Act in direct competition with FairWay Resolution Limited.

OIA Request 3,

If the answer to OIA Request 2 is yes, please provide the format with which this will occur and please supply the relevant names and structure of such a process that the tendering of reviews outside of FairWay Resolution Limited will take and also advise:-

(a) whether this move will be publicly notified through the media, and if so when,
(b) if it has yet to commence, when will ACC begin the tendering process to new Reviewers.
(c) since the reviews that are tendered out will still be conducted by Reviewers, being a person who provides services (excluding treatment) to claimants on behalf of or authorised by the Corporation, will the Reviewers who conduct tendered Reviews outside of FairWay Resolution Limited be subject to the full legislative statutory obligations of the Code of ACC Claimants' Rights, since they satisfy section 39 of the Act in terms of the meaning of "Corporation" under Part 3 Code of ACC Claimants’ Rights, and claims Code of ACC Claimants’ Rights.
(d) Will ACC conduct "training and post review decision sessions with Reviewers whom engage in tendered Review Work" as they have been doing with FairWay Resolution Limited or will there be a higher level of independence shown in the new contracts of tendered Reviews outside of FairWay Resolution Limited.

(e) will new entities that begin to provide review services for ACC outside of FairWay Resolution Limited be required to provide websites which provide the name and background of Reviewers and for full disclosure to be made on their websites in relation to any Reviewers that have had any previous involvement with ACC as a previous employee? And will an ACC client who engages in a review be able to choose their Reviewer?

OIA Request 6

Please advise if such a tendering process if it is imminent, has lead ACC to review upwards the amount to paid to a Reviewer in each complexity class, and please provide a copy of the renumeration schedule that will apply.

OIA Request 5

Please provide copies of all official information that has been received by ACC and or supplied to any third party in relation to the potential tendering out of Review Services beyond FairWay Resolution Limited, please ensure the information provided includes, but is not limited solely to information from MBIE, FairWay Resolution Limited, and any new tendering entities.

OIA Request 6

Please confirm what ACC advocacy groups and ACC claimant support groups were consulted in such a process if it is about to eventuate.

I thank you for your assistance and welcome the your return response through www.FYI.org.nz. under this thread.

Yours faithfully,

David Lawson

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From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation

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Government Engagement & Support, ACC

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From: David Lawson

Dear Accident Compensation Corporation,

From the MBIE Website which can be found at :- https://www.gets.govt.nz/ACC/ExternalTen...

RFP - ACC Reviewer Services and Dispute Resolution
Details
Tender Closed
RFx ID : 20517208
Tender Name : RFP - ACC Reviewer Services and Dispute Resolution
Reference # :
Open Date : Tuesday, 4 December 2018 4:00 PM (Pacific/Auckland UTC+13:00)
Close Date : Friday, 25 January 2019 3:30 PM (Pacific/Auckland UTC+13:00)
Tender Type : Request for Proposals (RFP)
Tender Coverage : Sole Agency [?]
Categories :
80120000 - Legal services
Regions:
Auckland
Bay of Plenty
Canterbury
Chatham Islands
Gisborne
Hawke's Bay
Manawatu-Wanganui
Marlborough
Nelson
Northland
Otago
Southland
Taranaki
Tasman
Waikato
Wellington
West Coast
Required Pre-qualifications : None
Contact : -
[email address]
-
Alternate Physical Delivery Address :
Alternate Physical Fax Number :
Overview
The ACC legislation provides for claimants, employers and levy payers (‘customers’) to submit a formal request to review any of its decisions. ACC needs the services of a panel of suitably qualified reviewers and dispute resolution specialists to provide a prompt, impartial, high quality, outcome focused service to all customers that have requested a review.

ACC is looking for credible, experienced, customer focused providers who have the capability, skills and knowledge to deliver Reviewer Services and Dispute Resolution Services. You will need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of good practice dispute resolution and a proven track record in its application. This should include mediation, conciliation and arbitration. It is important that you are forward thinking and willing to adopt appropriate technologies. A proactive approach to both privacy and health and safety is essential.

This is a unique opportunity to be part of ACC’s continuing focus on improving its decision making processes and achieving the right outcomes for its diverse range of customers. The selected providers will be expected to engage positively and proactively with both ACC and its customers to achieve good outcomes based on fair and impartial assessment of each individual case. The range of claims on which ACC makes decisions is very broad and, given the nature of some claims, can at times be quite challenging. There may be the need to make technical determinations of complex legislation, or to consider detailed medical expert or clinical specialist information. While no one sets out to be an ACC client, we are committed to ensuring that the service we provide is customer focused, transparent, effective and efficient whether it be for the claim itself, or for a dispute. We expect our providers to share our vison and they will be committed to help achieve the right outcomes.

Additional OIA Request 7:

Given the tendering comment of "ACC needs the services of a panel of suitably qualified reviewers and dispute resolution specialists to provide a prompt, impartial, high quality, outcome focused service to all customers that have requested a review"

Is ACC going to initiate an in house set of Reviewers?

Please provide response back to me through this thread at www.fyi.org.nz.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Yours faithfully,

David Lawson

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From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation

Dear David

Please refer to the email chain below.

ACC, not FairWay Resolution Ltd, has an active procurement process underway for Reviewer Services and Dispute Resolution.

ACC notified the tender through GETS, the New Zealand Government Electronic Tenders Service, and all public information about the tender is available there. It is not appropriate for ACC to respond to any requests for further information about the procurement process until the process is complete. This decision is made under section 9(2)(j) of the Official Information Act.

If you have any questions about the response you can contact us by return email, for all other matters please use our contact form at: https://www.acc.co.nz/contact/. If you are not happy with this response, you have the right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman. Information about how to do this is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or by phoning 0800 802 602.

Yours faithfully
Emma Coats
Manager, Official Information Act Services, ACC
Tel. 0800 101 996
ACC / OIA Services 2385 / Justice Centre - Level 7
PO Box 242 / Wellington 6011 / New Zealand / www.acc.co.nz

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