Reqest for confirmation of employees that have purchased FairWay Resolution Limited from the Crown.
The request was refused by FairWay Resolution Limited.
From: David Lawson
Dear FairWay Resolution Limited,
On 26 May 2016 Miriam R Dean CNZM QC released her findings titled "INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE ACCLAIM OTAGO (INC) JULY 2015 REPORT INTO ACCIDENT COMPENSATION DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESSES".
On page 25 of her report Miriam Dean noted and I quote;
"FairWay is a Crown-owned company that provides various complaint management and dispute resolution services. It reports (via an independent board) to the Ministers of Finance and ACC. ACC contracts FairWay to conduct reviews and pays FairWay for this service. (Section 139 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001 gives ACC the power to engage reviewers, which is exercised independently by FairWay under its contract with ACC.)50
FairWay currently has 30 reviewers (20 employees and 10 contractors). Twenty-five are legally qualified and all are trained in alternative dispute resolution methods.51 One full-time mediator is also employed to mediate reviews where ACC and the claimant agree to this."
It would be appreciated if you could provide me with confirmation under the Official Information Act the following information;
1. of the 30 reviewers and one full time mediator that were advised to Miriam Dean as being either employees and or contractors, during Miriam Dean's inquiry, how many of these persons who were involved with ACC reviews and mediation have invested in the purchase of FairWay Resolution Limited from the crown. It would be appreciated if you could provide both a full list of the employees or contractors that now have ownership in FairWay Resolution Limited, along with a list of employees/contractors who remain with FairWay Resolution whom have not brought into the ownership of FairWay Resolution but whom still provide ACC review and or dispute resolution services pursuant to the statutory requirements of the ACC Act.
2. confirmation of the names and legal qualifications of any new employees and or contractors who are managed by FairWay Resolution Limited for the purposes of ACC reviews and dispute resolution that became reviewers after Miriam Dean's inquiry and who remain managed by FairWay Resolution Limited presently. Please also confirm which of these employees have brought into the company's ownership.
I thank you for your time and assistance and look forward to receiving the requested official information back via FYI.org.nz, within the next 20 working days, being by the end of business close on the 8th August 2017.
From: Rebecca Lee
FairWay Resolution Limited
Dear Mr Lawson
Thank you for your request. FairWay is no longer an organisation subject to the Official Information Act 1982. As you have noted, FairWay has undergone a change of ownership. With the change of ownership we not do fall within the provisions of the Act and as such there is no requirement to respond to your queries. This is for any request made in reliance on the Official Information Act 1982, and regardless of the date to which the information applies, i.e. pre or post the change of ownership.
From: David Lawson
Dear Rebecca Lee,
Thank you for your reply.
It would be appreciated if you could confirm publicly as to what agency/regulatory body an ACC claimant who is going through the FairWay Review Process is able to seek redress for any perceived and or real breaches of their natural justice rights brought about by staff and or reviewers associated with conducting/scheduling and processing reviews.
For instance there is a Banking Ombudsman and other regulatory agencies that clients have a right of recourse to address breaches of natural justice rights. Can you please confirm what similar regulatory/ombudsman system FairWay Resolution Limited now has in place, given that the Official information Act was a powerful tool for establishing information about decisions and processes that effected persons going through review should they require it.
I am also curious as to whether up until this point, FairWay Resolution Limited has addressed publicly, and through parliament the effect the sale of the company, taking it out of crown ownership, will have on the public's natural justice rights, given that the public as of July 2017 has now loss their prior natural justice ability to be able to seek information on decision making and processes that effect them.
I look forward to hearing your, or Mr Rhys West's public response on these matters and appreciate your time.