News » ACC review body’s independence hailed

Changes to ACC making its review body an independent Crown company are being welcomed by Nelson-based national advocacy organisation Access Support Services.

ACC Minister Nick Smith said separating Dispute Resolution Services Ltd (DRSL) from ACC was needed to reinforce the independence of the review system.

Access Support Services claimant representative Tony Gibbons said the move was sensible and workable while retaining the skills of the DRSL staff.

DRSL, based in Christchurch, employs 100 staff. It is a registered company solely owned by ACC and deals with about 10,000 review applications from ACC claimants a year. It will become an independent Crown company from July 1.

Mr Gibbons said Access Support Services, which handles ACC claims issues for claimants around the country, was pleased it separated DRSL from ACC but did not lose the experience of the review staff.

That was important because while there was DRSL-bashing, its work was complex and DRSL staff had done a good job which was reflected in the review outcomes, he said.

Mr Gibbons, who has worked in the review area since 1997, said he had been worried about the changes but Dr Smith should be commended for taking a middle line. “It preserves DRSL but takes it one step away from ACC.”

– The Nelson Mail (23/05/11)


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