25 Jul 2010

ACC sends sex abuse victim's file to local shop

5:00 pm on 25 July 2010

The Privacy Commissioner is investigating how the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) came to send the private file of a sexual abuse victim to a Bay of Plenty dairy owner.

ACC sent the large package to the Matata Superfoods dairy which keeps mail for nearby rural addresses, but the parcel was not marked to the woman for whom it was intended.

The dairy's owner, Supinder Mann, says he opened the package because it was addressed to his business.

The Privacy Commissioner's office has confirmed that the woman has laid a complaint against ACC, and it is investigating.

ACC Minister Nick Smith says he was not aware of the case until Saturday, but any breach of the confidentiality requirements is unacceptable and he will raise the matter with officials on Monday.

Support group not surprised at privacy breach

A support group for women who have suffered sexual abuse says the Accident Compensation Corporation does not take their privacy seriously.

A spokesperson for the support group, Courageous Women, who asked to be known simply as Tania, says she's not surprised to hear of the case because she knows of a number of other situations in which ACC breached women's privacy.

Tania says ACC is in turmoil and doesn't realise how important privacy and trust is to the women it is dealing with.

She says she hopes the Bay of Plenty woman gets compensation for the trauma ACC has caused.