ACC Independent Review

ACC review

The ACC Board has released this month the independent review into access and use of client information at ACC.

The review found ACC employees understand their obligation to protect personal information, but it says the organisation’s focus has been too narrow.

ACC Chief Executive Megan Main said the organisation was deeply disappointed by last year’s Snapchat privacy incident.

“We accept the findings of the review and have an action plan in place to implement all its recommendations. We have work to do to ensure it is not just about avoiding the release of information to the wrong person outside ACC, attaching the right file to the right email, but how we treat our clients’ information internally, between ourselves, as well.”

Megan Main said a range of changes are being made to improve the organisation’s management of client information, such as updating policies, adding more checks and balances to ACC systems, limiting and auditing access to people’s files, and planning more training opportunities for employees.

“Having arrived at ACC in the immediate aftermath of the Snapchat incident, my priority has been to develop a strong, values-based privacy culture that is easily understood by all our people. I am committed to making our client’s privacy the first thing we think about.

“We’ve got a great opportunity to update how we do things and develop a broader approach to how we care for people’s information. Having evidence of how we manage information will help us give that assurance to New Zealanders – so they can have trust and confidence in us.”

Main said she will provide regular progress updates to ACC’s Board and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

“I would like to thank the independent reviewer for her work on the review and the pragmatic recommendations," said Main.

Acting Privacy Commissioner Liz MacPherson said the Commission is pleased ACC is learning from the Snapchat incident.

“We are happy ACC is taking comprehensive action to ensure that it is taking good care of the often sensitive, personal information that New Zealanders entrust it with. We look forward to being assured that the underlying issues are being resolved as this work programme progresses.”

The Review, led by Dentons Kensington Swan Partner Linda Clark, was commissioned last November by the ACC Board and Treasury following inappropriate access and use of client information by a small number of ACC employees.