Saturday, November 27

ACC admits backlog is delaying tens of thousands of customer cases


ACC is struggling to clear a month of backlog, with some tasks over seven months behind, the organization told MPs.

ACC building

ACC building
Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The delay comes even though the agency has introduced a new case management system designed to improve efficiency.

ACC made the admission in a written response to questions from Parliament’s Select Committee on Education and Workforce. The Committee was forced to put them in writing after the government blocked an offer from opposition parties to hold ACC executives to account in person for the apparent failure of a $ 74 million transformation of its system. case management called ‘Next Generation Case Management’.

It follows from claims that ACC staff were “dropping like flies” due to the heavy workloads generated by the new system.

In its written answer to the questions of the deputies, released today, ACC said that on average more than seven of its Assisted Recovery staff handled each claim, while there were just under 1.5 phone contacts per claim where a staff member had spoken with a client.

The Assisted Recovery team, which handled the claims that needed the least attention, had a backlog of 41,767 tasks, ACC said. Some tasks, such as check-in conversations, were 33 days late on average, while other internal tasks were seven months late.

“Assisted Recovery staff can complete between 6,000 and 7,000 tasks per day. ACC receives about that many new tasks each day, making it difficult to reduce the total number of available tasks,” ACC wrote.

Only a quarter of emails were responded to within 10 business days, but all were processed within 10 business days. “There is a plan to further improve email responsiveness, with the goal that all emails are processed within 48 hours,” ACC said.

The workloads were due to higher than anticipated claims being made, ACC said.

On the report of the Select Committee, also released today, the Green Party expressed concern that the new ACC system had not achieved what it set out to do.

“The Green Party does not believe that this achieves the Next Generation Case Management (NGCM) intent of putting clients’ needs at the center of the model and building a relationship between the client and ACC.”

“While we acknowledge the impact of Covid-19, when ACC was planning to launch next-generation case management, all indicators indicated that the number of claims would increase year-over-year by around 50,000. This is not out of step. with the figures affirm and we would have expected a greater resilience in the system, “the report reads.

The Green Party also said it was “extremely disappointed” that ACC failed to review how the new case management system for sensitive claims clients worked, after the Wellington-based Sensitive Claims Unit was disestablished in September. 2020.

Instead, sensitive claims were now handled by teams in eight different locations.


www.rnz.co.nz

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