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Reviewer's Conduct Reviewer's conduct

#1 User is offline   magnacarta 

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 08:49 AM

Reviewer's allowing an ACC person to be present at a hearing by telephone from another room in another place in the country is in issue.

There is a principle of law - delegatus non potest delegare - a delegate cannot delegate powers unless they are specially authorised to do so.

The reviewer has delegated powers under Part 5 of the Act to conduct dispute resolution proceedings.

However, there is no power in the Act for the reviewer to delegate their hearing powers to another room or another place in the country.

I understand that in some instances the decision-making case manager may be in the same town as the claimant and the reviewer, but the person on the telephone is in another town who is not the decision-maker and is unable to properly answer questions and their demeanour and body language cannot be assessed which is part of the process of assessing credibility.

To whom are you speaking, are they supervised, who is with them etc etc.

This raise the issue of fair and proper hearing.

s. 142 provides both parties are entitled to be present at the review hearing and to be represented if they wish.

IMHO, a reviewer delegating their hearing powers to another room in another place is unlawful conduct 0(again)
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#2 User is offline   doppelganger 

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:29 PM

this is especially the case with Complaints reviews. Seams that the complaints person likes to cut the phone when they are not talking giving the inpresion that they have others there at the hearing.
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#3 User is offline   watcha 

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 04:57 PM

This nonsense of conducting reviews by phone is totally unacceptable to every right thinking person. Furthermore, I would question a reviewer's authority to conduct a hearing in this way, the Act certainly doesn't provide for it, I would further suggest that reviewers are acting on instructions from ACC, the relationship between the ACC, DRSL and reviewers is far too cosy for my liking.

A senior official of DRSL also conducts reviews, not a very good one I might add, and other reviewers/mediators have not only frequently been observed entering various ACC branch offices but also speaking to and conducting seminars with case managers and other staff within those offices. Do you really think these meetings and seminars are to do with flower arranging or some other such equally innocuous activity? No way Jose.

The conduct of a review - let's call it alternative dispute resolution for a review is supposed to be by a panel, not one individual - is clearly set down in the Act. Parties to a review have the right to be heard, hence the Act provides that in the course of conducting a review, the reviewer must hold a hearing, unless the parties agree not to hold a hearing. The reviewer must also act with due diligence, adopt an investigative approach and comply with the principles of natural justice - wouldn't that be nice if it actually happened.

There's no way a claimant or his/her rep/advocate/supporter can question and observe body langauge if the person giving evidence or speaking to a submission is on the end of a phone line and I'm quite sure this is a deliberate ploy to insulate the decision-maker from examination - heaven save the case manager from Wilson's Wrath if he/she gets caught out in a lie - best get some other ACC twit to appear in person and continually say: sorry, don't know, sorry, wasn't party to the decision, sorry, sorry don't know why that is, sorry, the party line is..... sorry, sorry, sorry. And reviewers let ACC get away with it!!!

It is my contention that DRSL reviewers have little regard for the nicities of their statutory obligations; how else can we account for their unprincipled decisions. Some I have read lately are absolutely appalling so it is no wonder that knowledgable lawyers in the ACC review and appeals jurisdiction are saying that reviewers' decisions merely "rubber stamp ACC decisions". I have also seen deliberate lies put into decisions apparantly for no other purpose than to cause the maximum possible harm to support persons who may also happen to be claimants. Reviewers, nice people, eh - fair-minded, principled, independent, unbiased, yeh right!!! If you believe that, you are living in a fool's paradise.

Too often of late, reviewers have quashed ACC's decision only to give the sods a second bite of the cherry by telling it to make a new decision with - get this - new review and appeal rights on the very same issue that was the substance of the review itself. Back to square one, more delays and expense for the poor claimant and if the issue was weekly compensation, more hardship - I say it is malicious, designed to cause harm and demonstrates utter contempt for the law.

We have to challenge these turkeys at every opportunity (reviewers, that is), put them to the sword, legally speaking. I'm going to give it a go at my next review, which I think will be fairly soon, and should a certain reviewer turn up as the reviewer, well - the brown stuff will really hit the fan.

What if the reviewers happen to be lawyers? It would be entirely reasonable for a complaint to be filed with the law society. Probably wouldn't go anywhere but, hey, nothing ventured nothing gained, may even put the frighteners on them, bring them up with a round turn.
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#4 User is offline   doppelganger 

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 12:22 AM

I have personally had reviewers deliberately insert information into the file that he knew was incorrect at the time. I am preparing to have this corrected as the ACC are using this to stop any compensation and rehabilitation.

Reviewer asked questions and the Answers are incomplete because he didn;t want the correct ANSWERS;

it seams that when a contractor each job is taken as different employment. just wounder if the reviewer applied for a reviewers position after every hearing.

Its all time comsuming but its going to be worth it in the end
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#5 Guest_lorilye_*

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 10:11 PM

Has anyone else noticed that the latest buzz the reviewers use to avoid justice for the claimant is the excuse.....jurisdiction!!! The say they have no jurisdiction to question whatever the review is about for whatever reason.

Friend of mine who is dealing with Work *** has had them amend their decision in the micst of the review process effectively counselling out the reviewer who suddenly has no jurisdiction. Have to say he did remark he was not happy about the way they did this. Of course, thge cosdt to the claimant has just doubled as they have to go to review now on the new or amended decision.

New decision is to "accept claim for work-related injury" under section 20 2001 Act. Trouble is.....the injury is not "personal injury in New Zealand" as section 20 says. But rather it is "Work re-lated gradual process. disease or infection" thats 28.4 OR THE FULL SECTION 30.



Lori
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#6 Guest_lorilye_*

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 10:22 PM

sorry guys.....hit wrong button.....
Thing is, this injury came about working in public hospital, being over exposed to full strength Hypersal cleaning solution and hypersal/hypersol used strong in hot steamy water in a small unventilated room.

Osh lodged complaint, Work *** said no claim.....OSH said bullshit.....there is a claim......*** accused Claimant of writing the OSH amendment......OSH weren't happy about that. Oh the flack.......and the claimant.....wrongfully dismissed and fighting for financial life......having to sell home.....any of this ring a bell????? Unpaid and now given cover under wrong section and payment reduced from four months to two weeks, after sick leave......two days.

Typical day at the office. Work *** are the remnant of that privatisation hiccup. Workplaces like Hospitals were allowed to retain them in ACC's place, but they have to work to the IRPC Act 2001.

I am told by an advocate that they are harder to beat, I have to say they appear even more stupid......they do have an extra cache of tricks they try tho.

Anyone else had dealings with them?
cheers Lori
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#7 User is offline   kiwiwine 

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 05:37 AM

;) ;) ;)


One good thing about telephone conferencing at reviews.
Just had my review last Thurs, the reveiwer was the only person present in person( as far as I know anyway)
My lawyer, the ACC representitive and myself were all present by phone. In this case it certainly seemed to work well - and certainly made it much easier for me to attend (as most of you will know I'm in Aussie).
I only had to say 2 words the entire time (1 1/2 hrs) - "I agree" was my reply to reviewer when he accepted my evidence - lawyer did the rest and in my opinion did very well...

Look forward to the decision - will let you all know on my other post - ERC review, shonky advocate....

Fingers crossed

Kiwiwine B)
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#8 User is offline   Kiwee 

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 05:40 AM

Good luck with the review kiwiwine
kiwee
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#9 User is offline   magnacarta 

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 07:44 AM

There is precedent in Europe and elsewhere for conducting hearings by video link using good quality equipment. They are NOT heard by telephone link.

In fact, in NZ those who gave evidence to the select-comittee hearing on the IPRC Amendment Bill No.3 also gave their submissions through video link although I understand it was very poor quality so the equipment was inadequate.

Reviewer's conducting hearings by telephone link is unacceptable. It seems clear enough that it must be by video link. That is the judicial precedent throughout the rest of the world.
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#10 User is offline   MG 

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 05:38 PM

I agree, hearings by video link would be a good idea. I do think, though, that the whole review process needs a good look, as I see claimants being dealt to by ACC/DRSL in a most unfair manner.
I'd like to see DRSL scrapped and replaced with a Tribunal like the Disputes Tribunal, with an automatic right of appeal to the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority - in other words, extend the ACAA's jurisdiction to cover the 1992, 1998 and 2001 Acts.
I'd also like to see reviewers and judges adopt a far less formalist approach to ACC disputes. At present the whole process has degenerated into a form over substance situation, where claimants' real concerns with ACC are ignored or glossed over.
It's not in ACC's interest to sweep problems under the carpet either, as they only fester, while desperate people take desperate measures.
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#11 User is offline   magnacarta 

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 06:57 PM

MG, the interesting thing is that DRSL is not bound to be independent but the reviewer is. And yet we have a person acting as a DRSL Manager also turning up as a reviewer.

There is no statutory authority for ACC to even use DRSL and reviewer's contracted to DRSL - so why not object????

The issue is that reviewer's (and Judges) are not correctly understanding and discharging their powers and that they are ignoring or misapplying a principle laid down in the statute and also failing to take account of relevant considerations.

An appeal is against a review decision (s.149) but inenvitably the Judge looks only at ACC's decision and ignores the Part 5 dispute resolution proceeding process and procedure.
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