Request for official information in relation to Reviews 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 & 5447597 Ms Victoria Mills and Mr Michael Mercier.

David Lawson made this Official Information request to Accident Compensation Corporation

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Accident Compensation Corporation should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: David Lawson

Dear Emma Coats Manager Official Information Act Services

Background

I refer you to my official information request dated 24 May 2019 titled "Request for confirmation of the names of the Head/Senior Manager of Privacy and the Head/Senior Manager of Official Information at ACC" which can be found at the following web link "https://fyi.org.nz/request/10375-request... in which I sought the following information;

"I ..... would also welcome your confirmation that Mr Mike Mercier remains the Head of Legal Services within ACC."

"I would also appreciate ACC providing me with my full Legal Services Client/ File Number, and associated file numbers that attach to my main Legal Services Client/ File Number."

"I respectfully request that the above confirmations and names, and return confirmation of my full Legal Services Client/ File Number, and associated file numbers that attach to my main Legal Services Client/ File Number are provided within 3 working days, with my reason for urgency being that I have several personal/health and official information requests pertaining to Review No: 5447597, and associated with appeals of Reviews 5440587, 5440089, 5441587, 5491095, and 5493585."

And note that in your response received back on 7 June 2019 that you wrote and I quote;

"Legal Services

The ACC Legal team is known as the General Counsel team. Aedeen Boadita-Cormican is General Counsel at ACC. There is no role at ACC with the Title Head of Legal Services.

Legal Services File Number

Reviews and Appeals have assigned review and appeal numbers. They are not given any other number. I note from your request that you already have your review and appeal numbers."

I now refer you to the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority Decision of R Bedford dated 2nd day of August 2012 in Robinson V ACC [2012] NZACA 9 ACA 6/10 for which I have sent you a copy by way of email sent. R Bedford at [12] comments as quoted;

"[12] The Authority consulted with the Corporation through Michael Mercier, the Manager of Legal Services and the ACA Jurisdiction Manager, concerning the appropriate process to be followed when the Corporation raised an objection to the jurisdiction of the Authority, or sought a transfer of an existing appeal to the District Court."

OIA Request 1:

Please advise if Mr Michael Mercier is still the Manager of Legal Services as noted by R Bedford's referred comments above back in August 2012.

OIA Request 2:

Please provide me with a full and complete list in chronological order by way of month and year, of Mr Michael Mercier's positions/role and designated job description's and formal titles with ACC for which Mr Michael Mercier has held with ACC and any of ACC's subsidiaries between the 26 June 2012 when Robinson V ACC was heard and today's date.

OIA Request 3:

Additionally please specify Mr Michael Mercier's position and job description and formal job title with ACC as at the 19th September 2017 when Victoria Mill's Review Specialist for Resolution Services (Wellington) completed her Memorandum that she forwarded to Legal Services Wellington with subject title Reviews filed regarding additional classes of injuries with File Reference: Mr David Lawson (Various Claims). I have forwarded you by way of email to yourself at [email address] and copied to [email address] a copy of Ms Victoria Mills Memorandum.

As you will note the memorandum pertains to 6 Claim Numbers under review with Ms Victoria noting under Issue on her Memorandum the following and I quote;

"Issue

Mr Lawson has filed a number of reviews on different claims. Mr Lawson claims ACC has failed to meet timeframes and that deemed cover now exists and that decision letters are required in relation to adding "additional classes of injuries" on the various claims.

The Review applications have all been lodged and all administrative tasks have been completed by the writer. The writer has been advised that because of the complexity and nature of the review applications, that it would be appropriate for Legal Services to be requested to represent ACC at review.

The claims involved and a brief summary are set out below;"

Claim No Review No Issue*
10029118540 for 5440089 Cover and entitlements formally claimed 15 April 2016
10027588119 for 5441587 Cover and entitlements formally claimed 21 April 2016
10029118537 for 5440507 Cover and entitlements formally claimed 20 April 2016
10029250341 for 5447597 Cover and entitlements formally claimed 20 June 2016
10030172374 for 5493585 Cover and entitlements formally claimed 25 June 2016
10029158387 for 5491095 Cover and entitlements formally claimed 4 July 2016

* I have paraphrased the comments under issue and left out the additional injuries and entitlements that were specified by Ms Victoria Mills du to privacy reasons associated with my the injuries I sustained.

OIA Request 4

Please provide a written statement from the Corporation/ Ms Victoria Mills as to the name of the person within the Corporation and their formal job tile/role within the Corporation who advised Ms Victoria Mills "that because of the complexity and nature of the review applications, that it would be appropriate for Legal Services to be requested to represent ACC at review."

OIA Request 5

Please provide a written statement from the Corporation/ Ms Victoria Mills as to the date Ms Victoria Mills was advised "that because of the complexity and nature of the review applications, that it would be appropriate for Legal Services to be requested to represent ACC at review."

OIA Request 6

Please provide all telephone records and a copy of any transcript, and all written communication between Ms Victoria Mills and the person within the Corporation whom advised Victoria Mills "that because of the complexity and nature of the review applications, that it would be appropriate for Legal Services to be requested to represent ACC at review."

OIA Request 7

I refer you to the Memoranda blue text under "Issue" to the right of Claim No and Review No which for 4 of the 6 Claims and Reviews Ms Mill's typed

"Hard copy documentation (only) provides..... and wrote " A hard copy of all the documentation that was received for the above reviews will be forwarded by internal mail."

It would be appreciated if you could advise me as to how I can go about being provided with a copy of all copies of the 6 full sets of review documentation that was received by ACC from myself for the above 6 referred reviews that were sent on the 19 September 2017 to Legal Services Wellington.

OIA Request 8

As noted above and stated in your correspondence of 7 June 2019 you have advised me that the ACC Legal team is known as the General Counsel team. Please advise me as to when Legal Services Wellington as noted in Ms Victoria Mill's Memorandum dated 19 September 2019, changed it's name to the General Counsel Team, and any and all iterations of what Legal Services Wellington was called between changing from Legal Services Wellington to now being known as the General Counsel Team.

OIA Request 9

Please advise me as to where the hard copy of all the documentation that was received for the above reviews for which Ms Victoria Mills confirmed in her Memorandum dated 19 September 2019 would be forwarded to Legal Services Wellington, and now stored, and the person that I can approach directly for full sets of copies for each claim number and review, which should replicate exactly what I emailed with my acc review applications, but will be dated as received by ACC.

OIA Request 10 Background
In Ms Victoria Mills Memorandum dated 19 September 2017 Ms Mills wrote under Claim No 10030172374 Review No 5493585 "unable to locate any formal claim for additional injuries around the 25 June 2016 on claim file." and under Claim No: 10029158387 Review 5491095 Ms Mills wrote "- unable to locate any formal claim for additional injuries around 25 June 2016 on claim file."

OIA Request 10

Aside from checking my individual claim files for 100390172374 and 10029158387, to establish whether Ms Jane Harding had saved to my correct claims files my formal claims for additional classes of injury covers and specified entitlements for claims lodged by way of email to the Corporation emailed to my case manager Ms Jane Harding on 25 June 2016 and 4 July 2016 respectively, what additional checks did Ms Victoria Mills undertake to try and locate where Ms Jane Harding had saved and or stored my referred claims lodgments if not on my correct claims files.

OIA Request 11

Prior to engaging legal counsel to represent ACC what steps did the then Legal Services team in Wellington undertake to establish if Ms Jane Harding had actually received my formal claims for additional classes of injury covers and specified entitlements under claim numbers 100390172374 and 10029158387 for claims lodged by way of email to the Corporation emailed to my case manager Ms Jane Harding on 25 June 2016 and 4 July 2016 respectively.

OIA Request 12

Prior to engaging legal counsel to represent ACC what steps did the then Legal Services team in Wellington, or Ms Victoria Mills undertake to establish if Ms Jane Harding had actually received my formal claims for additional classes of injury covers and specified entitlements under claim numbers 10029250341 and 10029118540 for claims lodged by way of email to the Corporation emailed to my case manager Ms Jane Harding on 20 June 2016 and 15 April 2016 respectively.

OIA Request 13

Background

I refer to pages 43 and 44 of claim file 10029250341 generated on the 17 October 2018 provided on c/d disc CF47512 loaded to c/d on the 2019-03-12_1453 ACC’s Ms Victoria Mill’s on the 07-02-2018 saved to the Claim Summary Report an update from ACC’s instructed solicitor Mr Peter Brownless from Medico Law which read as follows ( I have sent you a copy of this ACC claims file page);

Party : David Lawson Contact date/time: 07-02-2018 09.55

Reason: Contact with other Party Last update date/time:07-02-2018 09.58

Generated: 17/Oct/2018 Date Updated: 17/Oct/2018 Page: 43 of 61
Claim Number: 10029250341 Accident Compensation Corporation 2018 Client Name: Mr David John Lawson.

and on page 44 the email continues in the Claims Summary Report as follows;

Discussions with: Victoria Mills

Description: UPDATE FROM INSTRUCTED SOL

From: Peter[mailto:[email address]]
Sent: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 1:34 p.m.
To Michael Mercier
Subject: David Lawson v ACC - Review Nos. 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 & 5447597.

Afternoon Mike,

The above matters (originally scheduled for hearing on 30 January 2018) were adjourned late last week as Mr Lawson is obtaining legal counsel.

I have been liaising with both Victoria Mills (Review Specialist) and Brenda Joined (Case Manager) about these matters.

I have filed submissions and the matters are ready to proceed to hearing.

Please find attached a note of our costs to date.

Kind regards,

Contact method: E-mail Direction: INCOMING

OIA Request 14

As at the 31 January 2018 the date at which ACC's then counsel Mr Peter Brownless provided his update with respect to reviews to Mr Michael Mercier or "Mike" as Mr Brownless refers to Mr Mercier, what position/role and formal job title did Mr Michael Mercier hold within ACC.

OIA Request 15

Please advise me the official ACC documentation/policy which outlines the processes that I will need to undertake to obtain all personal and official information 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 & 5447597.

OIA Request 16

When Mr Brownless wrote in his email to Mr Mike Mercier on 31 January 2018 "Please find attached a note of our costs to date." for David Lawson v ACC - Review Nos. 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 & 5447597.
please specify what Mr Brownless/ Medico Law had billed the Corporation as at that date (31/01/18).

OIA Request 17

When the Corporation conceded on the 22 August 2018 that deemed decisions for the additional classes of injuries and entitlements that I had formally claimed for during 2016 by emailing Ms Jane Harding and the Corporation had been out of time and had failed to issue deemed decision letters 2 months after my 2016 lodgments under 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 as legally required to have done, please provide me the cost in total that Medico Law, Mr Peter Brownless and or any other medicoLaw staff member had billed, or subsequently charged the Corporation inclusive services for Review No: 5447597 and exclusive of services of Review No: 5447597 up until and including the 22 August 2018.

I look forward to receiving back the official information and am happy in this instance to have the official information in full returned to my personal email address being [email address].

As this official information is required for the purposes of pending review and appeals preparation of ACC decisions associated with claim/review numbers 10029118540/5440089, 10027568119/5441587, 10029118537/5440587, 10029250341/5447597, 10030172374/5493585
and 10029158387/5491095 it would be welcomed if you would provide me with the Official Information requested today within the 20 working day provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

I appreciate your time and assistance and the documentation and communications I refer you to will be emailed within the next 30 minutes to n hour to [email address] and copied to [email address].

Yours sincerely
David Lawson

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From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation

Kia ora David

We have sent our response to your official information request of 01
August 2019 to your personal email address.

Ngâ mihi 

           
 
    Emma Coats, Manager OIA Services, ACC
  ACC cares about the environment – please don’t print this
  email
    unless it is really necessary. Thank you.

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From: David Lawson

Dear Emma Coats,

Thank you for your OIA Letter of response letter dated 29 August 2019 to which I respond to your comments to my OIA Request 17 today and request your response under urgency within the next 3 working days.

I quote my original OIA Request 17 below for your quick reference;

OIA Request 17

When the Corporation conceded on the 22 August 2018 that deemed decisions for the additional classes of injuries and entitlements that I had formally claimed for during 2016 by emailing Ms Jane Harding and the Corporation had been out of time and had failed to issue deemed decision letters 2 months after my 2016 lodgments under 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 as legally required to have done, please provide me the cost in total that Medico Law, Mr Peter Brownless and or any other medicoLaw staff member had billed, or subsequently charged the Corporation inclusive services for Review No: 5447597 and exclusive of services of Review No: 5447597 up until and including the 22 August 2018.

My challenge to your omission of official information from your 29 August 2019 response to my OIA Request 17 of 1 August 2019.

Your response of 29 August 2019 is quoted for your quick reference;

"17. Refer to our response to question 16. There are no further MedicoLaw Costs attributed to your claims up to and including 22 August 2018."

Your OIA Response to my 1 August 2019 OIA Request 16 which you referred to in your answer to my OIA Request 17 states and I quote;

"As at January 2018, the bill to date from Medico Law was in the range of $2,000 to $2,500."

It note that you have made an oversight in your response to my 1 August 2019 OIA Request 17, in that you have overlooked part of my official information request 17, which not only included my request for services billed to ACC from MedicoLaw for legal services associated with providing counsel to ACC for legal representation in review proceedings for review numbers;

5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095, and 5447597, for their services up until 22 August 2019,

.....my OIA request 17 of 1 August 2019 extended to also include my request for the costs ......"subsequently charged the Corporation inclusive services for Review No: 5447597 and exclusive of services of Review No: 5447597 up until and including the 22 August 2018." which requires the corporation to have had disclosed to me the subsequent costs MedicoLaw billed the Corporation from the 22 August 2019 through to the date of my OIA Request 17 which was lodged on the 1 August 2019.

In line with my original OIA Request 17 which reads;

OIA Request 17

When the Corporation conceded on the 22 August 2018 that deemed decisions for the additional classes of injuries and entitlements that I had formally claimed for during 2016 by emailing Ms Jane Harding and the Corporation had been out of time and had failed to issue deemed decision letters 2 months after my 2016 lodgments under 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 as legally required to have done, please provide me the cost in total that Medico Law, Mr Peter Brownless and or any other medicoLaw staff member had billed, or subsequently charged the Corporation inclusive services for Review No: 5447597 and exclusive of services of Review No: 5447597 up until and including the 22 August 2018.

I respectfully request that you provide to me under urgency within 3 working days the costs that MedicoLaw subsequently (between 22 August 2018 and 1 August 2019) charged the Corporation for reviews 5440089, 5441587, 5440587, 5493585, 5491095 and 5447597 inclusive services for Review No: 5447597 and exclusive of services of Review No: 5447597 up until and including the 22 August 2018.

I thank you for your time and assistance and look forward to your respnse within 3 working days since the Corporation has failed to fully answer my OIA Request 17 in the context asked.

Yours sincerely,

David Lawson

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