Accident Compensation Corporation: Case Management of Rehabilitation and Compensation.

The Accident Compensation Corporation Te Kaporeihana Awhina Hunga Whara (ACC) was established when New Zealand introduced a comprehensive no-fault accident compensation scheme in 1974. The private rights of individuals to sue for personal injury were replaced with a public scheme of universal coverage that aimed to provide compensation for all accidents, wherever they occurred.

Almost everyone has, or knows of someone who has, received assistance from ACC. In the absence of personal experience, people’s views of ACC can be formed through the experience, good or bad, of others.

When we made known our intention to undertake an audit of ACC, we were inundated with telephone calls and letters expressing interest in what we would look at, or highlighting individual cases where it was asserted that ACC had made incorrect decisions. We made it clear to all correspondents that the purpose of this audit was not to take up individual cases with ACC. Rather, our focus was the performance of ACC’s case management practices as a whole. Nevertheless, we were aware that there were some expectations that we would find failings within ACC.

During our audit we encountered polarised views of ACC’s performance, although there was a consistently strong theme that the organisation is performing better now than it has in the past. Overall, we found no systemic failings in ACC’s case management practices. However, our audit identified areas where improvements can be made for the benefit of both ACC and claimants, and we have made recommendations accordingly.

I thank ACC for its assistance during the conduct of the audit. I also appreciate the valuable input from a selection of advisers, employers, treatment providers, and claimants, which ensured that the audit canvassed the views of those who have the most contact with ACC. This report incorporates consideration of those views in our assessment of ACC’s case management performance.


K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

18 April 2004

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