Wellington consultancy Martin Jenkins (MJ) and Associates and insurance expert Derek Scott were asked to conduct an independent review of EQC’s response to the Canterbury earthquakes.
The consultants interviewed 75 EQC staff and contractors late in 2011 and early 2012 and found:
- Only three of the theoretical list of 20 executive support people for EQC were available on September 4, 2010, the date of the first major earthquake.
- It took a year for EQC to appoint a general manager with the management capabilities to deal with a large scale disaster effort.
- EQC’s poor response was determined by its pre-earthquake family culture – “nothing will happen until I retire.”
- People were tossed into the field which worked well where individuals were highly experienced and capable … But there were many cases “where initially we had no idea what we were doing.”
- iPads using Comet software were introduced with minimal cost benefit analysis and proved incompatible with EQC’s IBM claims software (ClaimCenter). The iPad application could deal with only one assessment per property and was therefore unsuitable for multiple events.
- Despite EQC having invested in a web-based, field orientated software system, it initially used paper data recording in the field.
- Input staff did not fully understand ClaimCenter and by November 2011, ClaimCenter had 112,000 entries against which no activity had been entered. There was also a discrepancy of 40,000 building exposures between ClaimCenter data and Canterbury-sourced data.
- Apportionment of damage between events was “largely subjective” despite best efforts.
EQC had a permanent staff of 22 and outsourced all core functions – call centres for claims lodgement, claims administration and processing (to Brisbane) and field operations.
“In the absence of overarching direction individual solutions were created on the spot with negative downstream consequences,” the report said.
It also criticised EQC for its lack of expertise on its systems capability. The expertise “needed to be at hand to constantly advise the management of realistic possibilities”.
“Without adequate reflection new challenges were often met with more resources or new teams rather than working smarter eg experienced staff claimed better use of the ClaimCenter system could have saved 100 staff.”
EQC’s lack of planning and project management skills meant suppliers took advantage charging premium rates, the MJ report said. Hourly rates were set which were more costly than fixed-term contracts and the report gave the example of Datacom charging a scanning cost of $6 per page.
The Scott report said EQC found it difficult to maintain standards as leaders at its various field offices and imported assessors were inconsistent and the pods were all managed differently.
“The training function experienced difficulties in responding to continual changes in form and work processes made by individual field offices, whilst the Canterbury Events office frequently changed the names and functions of teams.”
Further thought also needed to be given to better prescribing jobs to the provider agencies.
“… A number of assessors provided by Verifact (Brisbane-based firm that supplied 210 Australian assessors) were either physically unsuitable for the job or lacked the necessary skills including those of basic numeracy. Many assessors and estimators appear to lack knowledge of EQC cover, the 1993 Act, building code or repair strategies even after induction and training,” the Scott report noted.
Unrest occurred when inexperienced and untrained staff were paid the same rates as personnel previously contracted to EQC.
Effective performance management did not appear to be part of EQC culture, Scott said, with the focus on quantity rather than quality. Judge Noble said "I'm left with the uneasy impression that the understanding of accountability is blurred" regarding Crown accountability.
The NZ High Court sits on shaky ground records the application of Her Majesty's Solicitor General and the Clown Law Orifice, and Mr Krieger's response, and other reports show that lawyers and Judges are fiddling with themselves while New Zealand democracy and human rights go up in a puff of smoke and flames.
Corrupt Police prosecutors like Garry Wilson and Gregory Peters regularly conspire with Wilson's partner, Masterton Court registrar Liz Harpleton, and other Police, lawyers and Court staff, etc, to pervert the course of justice in the Masterton Court - they are incompetent and corrupt in the extreme.