• Jenny Shipley
Accident Insurance

The Minister for ACC, Hon Jenny Shipley, says she has confidence in the chairman of the ACC board, Bill Falconer, both as chairman and as acting chief executive.

Mrs Shipley commented in response to the Social Services Committee report to parliament, which was tabled today.

"I believe the public can have confidence in the corporation.

"It is important to remember that it was procedures put in place by the Board of the ACC that first identified the irregularities that are now under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

The Board will be formally beginning the process of finding a new chief executive this week.

"I have been informed that the Serious Fraud Office investigation into a number of irregularities first identified by the ACC Board is expected to take two to three months to complete. It will take this long because of the complex nature of the inquiry. This matter is now solely in the hands of the director of the SFO to determine, and I have made it clear there will be no further Government comment on these issues until the SFO investigation is complete.

"In the meantime I want to reassure the public that the Government is still committed to the goal it set in the Coalition Agreement, of rebuilding public confidence in ACC by restoring it to a world-leading, 24 hour, comprehensive but affordable accident cover.

"I have visited a number of branch offices, as has my Associate Minister Deborah Morris, and I have been impressed by the commitment of the front line staff, as they actively work in the interests of claimants and employers. Their good work should not be over-shadowed by the issues being considered by the SFO.

"I am confident ACC can get past its current difficulties, put a good management system in place, and build towards a positive future," the Minister concluded.