Saturday, 27 October 2012

A letter from Gordon Waugh

In New Zealand, Gordon Waugh has written a letter to the Ombudsman, calling for an independent investigation into the Accident Compensation Corporation in its handling of Sensitive Claims (claims for mental injury caused by criminal sexual offences).

It seeks to rectify the serious flaws in ACC’s administrative conduct of Sensitive Claims, by requiring ACC to :

a.              Obtain testable evidence that criminal acts alleged by claimants actually did occur;

b.              Ensure that evidence or information opposing a claimant’s allegations of criminal offending (especially in “historical” cases) is collected from alleged offenders and is fully taken into account in cover decisions.

c.               Ensure that all criminal acts alleged in Sensitive Claims are reported to the Police for criminal investigation;

d.              Separate the effects (if any) of criminal sexual offences from effects due to other trauma in a claimant’s life;

e.              By means acceptable to main-stream medical professions (not counselling or psychotherapy practitioners) obtain evidence that the claimant has a definable and specific mental injury ;

f.               Obtain testable evidence that the alleged criminal act was the cause of the claimed mental injury, as specified in IPRCA s.21;

g.              Employ only those administrative, diagnostic and treatment procedures that can be shown to be intellectually honest, evidence-based, scientific, ethical and safe;

h.              Apply to Sensitive Claims the same rigorous standards of proof it uses for accidental physical injuries, especially in relation to degenerative and pre-existing conditions;

i.                Ensure that information it publishes about sexual abuse and its effects is scientifically valid, reliable and complete; and,

j.                Maintain and publish full and accurate statistical data in respect of sensitive claim numbers, their costs, counselling costs, and related data, so that such data and information is freely and readily available to the public.

Complete text of the letter can be viewed at: