Despite the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, a new independent review released by the Assistant Minister for Social Services is less than positive in regards to the capability of the National Disability Insurance Agency, who is administering the scheme.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is under reporting guidelines from the Federal Government to provide annual and quarterly reports, as well as tasked with reviewing:
In effect, the current Committee (composed of 6 Senators and 6 Members) is focused on the implementation and administration, as well as expenditure of the NDIS and to provide a forum where design and implementation issues can be explored in a bipartisan manner.
In addition to the reporting requirements of the Joint Standing Committee, the Assistant Minister for Social Services commissioned an independent review of the capability of the NDIS Agency (NDIA), which is charged with delivering NDIS.
Key findings of the review include:
In the words of the Minister:
"The findings of the capability review are both inspiring and sobering... Inspiring, because several thousand Australians with disability are now getting the better deal they deserve. And inspiring because the hard working staff of the NDIS Agency have put in a herculean effort and achieved launch in the trial sites against the odds... And sobering because the theme that runs through the report is that the decision by the previous government to bring forward by a year the commencement date of the trial sites has compromised key capabilities required to support and deliver full scheme roll out."
The scheme's cornerstone assessment metric — “reasonable and necessary support” — has also come under fire as being too vague.
“As key parameters of the scheme, the boundaries of ‘reasonable and necessary’ require clear articulation for participants and the community to ensure that expectations are aligned...This may take some time to get right, and the agency needs the capability to manage this sensitive calibration with the support of its stakeholders.”
In response to the capability review, the Agency has developed an action plan and will provide further advice as to whether the current implementation timetable is consistent with a successful full scheme rollout.
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