Re: Assessor Safety Submissions and 9(2)(c) OIact
The request was partially successful.
From: Anthony Jordan
Dear Accident Compensation Corporation,
Sometime between November 2012 and 15 January 2013 The Office of the Ombudsmen was advised by the Accident Compensation Corp that income and claimant number related information regarding Dr John Lewis Collier and ‘a number of other assessors’ would not be released.
The Ombudsman was advised that ‘it has received submissions from a number of assessors, including Dr Collier, raising concerns about the effects of the release of the information on their safety’…. The ACC has therefore concluded that as well as section 9(2)(a) it is also withholding the information under section 9(2)(c) of Official Information act.
In a letter dated 22 February the ACC stated in reply to a OIact request the ACC declined to supply any evidence of safety concerns pursuant to section 9(2)(a) of the Act. ACC concluded disclosing the information outweighed any public interest.
Where there are questions over Professional integrity, safety of claimant’s future potential earnings/holistic well-being due to alleged practices encouraged by favouring certain assessors with questionable financial rewards, it is in the interest of public to see that the ACC is in fact being transparent.
To justify using 9(2) (c)avoid prejudice to measures protecting the health or safety of members of the public, i.e. Dr Collier and ‘a number of other assessors’ is seen as evasive and unhelpful, where there is ‘a duty to assist,’ which will go on to proving or disproving well documented and public concerns.
1) Would the ACC consider releasing verbatim copies of submissions indicated above to an appropriate Government Agency to confirm what ACC is proclaiming is in fact truthful and not in any way ‘half truths’
2) Would the ACC reconsider disclosing submissions previously declined due to it would ‘outweigh public interest’
3) Has the ACC released any of the information that the assessors, including Dr Collier, do not want released to any party pre receiving submissions
4) Number of assessors who made submissions Re: safety Concerns
5) Dates that assessors first made the ACC aware of such concerns
6) Is the ACC currently reviewing submissions to consider whether these subjective concerns are justified
7) Has the ACC been provided with any evidence to prove there is justification to act on these submissions i.e. Notifications to Law offices or appropriate medical bodies by assessors including Dr Collier
8) And if no notifications have been initiated, would it be expected of the ACC to be provided such evidence so as to not have ACC be put in a position to unjustifiably withhold information
Finally, would the ACC please provide the appropriate department within ACC to address concerns regarding contracted treatment providers.
From: Anna Mildenhall
Accident Compensation Corporation
Good afternoon Mr Jordan
Please find attached ACC's response to your request of 8 April 2013
Anna Mildenhall, Senior Advisor, Government Services, ACC
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