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  • ACC required to contribute towards client’s travel costs to attend hearing

    Case notes
    ACC client had difficulties with Individual Rehabilitation Plan and case manager—weekly earnings stopped—client sought review and later appealed decision to District Court but before hearing took place client moved to another town and had new IRP and case manager, and the earnings were reinstated—the client chose to continue with appeal in District Court but the appeal was unsuccessful—ACC refused to reimburse client for travel expenses but Ombudsman held this decision unreasonable
  • ACC delay to obtain opinion from Crown Solicitor unreasonable

    Case notes
    A 17 month delay by ACC in deciding whether to prosecute claimant for fraud but this delay due to 16 month delay by Crown Solicitor in providing ACC with written legal opinion — Ombudsman unable to investigate actions of Crown Solicitor but could consider how ACC dealt with the delay—three emails by ACC sent in 13 month period, then a formal request sent in writing for legal opinion—no agreed timeframes for when advice could be expected and Ombudsman of view that it was unreasonable for ACC to wait 14 months before formally raising concerns about the delay with the Crown Solicitor—ACC apologised to complainant and agreement reached between ACC and Crown Solicitor that legal opinions will be provided within 21 days of receipt of request
  • Ministry of Health reconsiders decision to charge for collation of information

    Case notes
    Requester sought draft and final copies of public health contracts for four financial years between Ministry of Health and 42 providers—Ministry agreed to release but subject to charge of $24,000—Ombudsman sought basis for charge—request for vast amount of information requiring substantial collation—charge applied in accordance with Ministry of Justice Charging Guidelines—however, Ministry had previously released part of requested information to an MP free of charge—Ombudsman did not consider it reasonable now to charge member of public for same information—Ministry agreed to review decision and release that particular information again free of charge and assist requester to refine request for outstanding information