Pullar: ACC complaint to police false

PHIL KITCHIN
Last updated 05:00 23/03/2012

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ACC has been accused of making a false complaint to police over its allegations about a meeting between senior ACC managers and whistleblower Bronwyn Pullar.

Ms Pullar said yesterday: "Given the false assertions and the contradictory evidence, I have solid grounds to make a complaint to police over ACC's false accusations lodged against me in an attempt to defame me."

She said she was considering taking a complaint to police.

Last week she revealed that ACC had wrongly sent her private details of 6500 ACC clients, almost certainly including incest and sexual abuse victims, from the corporation's sensitive claims unit.

In response to the unfolding scandal, the corporation was ordered to provide a report to ACC Minister Judith Collins.

Before publishing the report, ACC did not speak to Ms Pullar or to her advocate – former National Party president Michelle Boag – who was at the critical December 1 meeting they held with ACC managers Philip Murch and Hans Verberne.

ACC's report said Ms Pullar threatened to withhold the data at the centre of the breach and go to the media if she was not given a guaranteed two-year benefit.

ACC said it had referred the issue to police.

Ms Pullar said she was shocked by the report because ACC had thanked her for the meeting and described it as productive at the time.

"This new response from the ACC managers was a shock to me as it totally contradicted their initial response. It also contradicted their subsequent correspondence. I never threatened to use the file containing sensitive date at the meeting. I never threatened to use the file in any way at this meeting, or any other time.

"I would never dream of divulging the names in the file to anyone. ACC were fully aware of my concerns over privacy with an extensive history of communications relating to ACCs privacy rights.

"In fact, a lot of the meeting focused on my concerns around ACC's mishandling of privacy, medical records, collection of medical records and the inadequacy of ACC systems to protect these as confidential files."

Ms Pullar said ACC had deliberately tried to destroy her credibility and confidence to speak out about her concerns over systemic privacy breaches.

It had also failed to act on 45 issues of systemic failures that she provided to the corporation at the crucial meeting.

"ACC has deliberately leaked my name to the media and has set out to intentionally destroy my privacy and reputation. It shows how ACC treats claimants with disdain," she said. "It shows how ACC will smash anybody who dares speak out. It is simply not good enough that sensitive claimants' names are published every month in ACC reports.

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"How come not one of 50 managers at ACC ever thought about this being a serious breach of their privacy?"

She said she raised the issue in the media to make "damn sure that ACC took claimants' privacy very seriously. It was about making ACC accountable".

ACC did not respond to Dominion Post requests for a comment before deadline yesterday.

- The Dominion Post

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