29 January 2016
Lee M [FYI request #3499 email]
Dear Lee M
Official Information Act Requests
Thank you for your follow-up request of 27 January 2016 in response to information ACC
provided under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act).
You stated that your original request of 19 December 2015 had “not been satisfied” and
therefore you rephrased your original question 2 into two parts. Your questions and ACC’s
responses are below.
Question 2 - part 1:
If the ACC were to receive personal health information about a claimant that it had not
requested from the information provider, would the ACC refuse a request from the
claimant asking for the "unsolicited" information to be returned to him/her?
Please note that the Act does not require an agency to provide opinions, and ACC’s answers
to your rephrased question reflect this.
Your question appears to relate to information being returned to the individual, with the
implication that it would also be removed from ACC files. Removal of the information from
ACC files would depend on a number of factors including but not limited to: where the
information came from, the content of the information, and significantly, its relevance to the
In addition, as stated in our previous response of 26 January 2016, if a client requests
access to personal information ACC holds about them, this request wil be managed under
the Privacy Act 1993. There are a number of provisions in that legislation (sections 27-29)
that enable personal information to be withheld by an agency. Further, once the information
is held ACC has obligations under the Public Records Act 2005, Health (Retention of Health
Information) Regulations 1996 and section 66 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001 to
retain information for set periods.
Due to the various considerations involved, therefore, ACC cannot definitively say whether a
request for information to be returned to the client would or would not be refused.
Question 2 - part 2:
Does the ACC have a policy, procedure, guideline or rule that addresses the issue of the
ACC receiving "unsolicited" information, and does that policy, procedure, guideline or rule
instruct management and staff how to deal with the "unsolicited" information? If both or
either of the aforementioned applies, please provide me with a copy the policy, procedure,
guideline or rule.
ACC does not have a policy, procedure, guideline, or rule that addresses the issue of ACC
receiving “unsolicited” information. This part of your request is declined under section 18(e)
of the Act as the information you request does not exist.
You have the right to complain to the Office of the Ombudsman about response. You can
call them on 0800 802 602 between 9am and 5pm on weekdays, or write to The Office of the
Ombudsman, PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143.
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