State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie has today released the findings of the independent review of the Earthquake Commission's handling of a customer satisfaction survey.

The review was requested by the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission (EQC). It covered the engagement between EQC and the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) on the customer satisfaction information that was reported in the Auditor General's report Earthquake Commission: Managing the Canterbury Home Repair Programme, the reliability of the results from EQC's customer satisfaction surveys and EQC's processes for ensuring the reliability of information provided to the Minister.

The review has found:

  • The customer satisfaction surveys are carried out in accordance with good practice and the results are valid and reliable.
  • The information the Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission gave in response to a question in the House was accurate.
  • On the question of claims omitted from the EQC's Claims Satisfaction Survey conducted by UMR, the review found only 18 claims, out of 123,000 closed claims, were omitted from the survey. This would not have an impact on the overall results.
  • In line with good practice, only completed claims are surveyed. 31,311 claims were excluded from the survey for valid reasons such as multiple or duplicate claims.
  • 86.7% of the excluded claims have so far been validated and the primary claim is confirmed to have either been available for survey or still be available to be surveyed.
  • There are opportunities for EQC to improve its processes and systems for providing information and support to the Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission. EQC is already acting on a number of these.
  • Engagement between EQC and Office of the Auditor General was appropriate and effective.
  • The report makes 10 recommendations for improvement.

"This has been a thorough review of how these surveys are conducted and how results were reported, as well as EQC's internal processes and the systems for supporting their Minister," Mr Rennie said.

"The review has found that EQC's surveys are consistent with good practice, the survey results are valid and reliable and the answers given by the Minister were correct," he said.

"Ministers need to be able to rely on State Services agencies to provide clear and timely information. The report makes a number of recommendations for how EQC can improve the support it provides and how the relationship with the Minister's Office can be improved," said Mr Rennie.

"I would like to acknowledge EQC's co-operation with the review and willingness to make staff and information available to the reviewer."

The reviewer's full report is available on the State Services Commission website at


Media enquiries:  Tim Ingleton, SSC Communications 021 240 7810


Background notes

The review was carried out by Souella Cumming. Ms Cumming is a partner at KPMG with specialist expertise in governance, risk management and internal audit.

Ms Cumming carried out 19 interviews and reviewed a range of documents, systems and processes.

The Terms of Reference for the review are available here.

EQC is a Crown Entity, governed by a Board appointed by the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission.

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