A report released by a parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme has called for ‘urgent action’ to improve the operation of the scheme.
It has also fully adopted PIAC’s recommendation to publish Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) settlement outcomes, while protecting the privacy of applicants, in order to promote transparency around NDIA decision-making.
This is one of 14 recommendations made by the committee to improve the operation of NDIS planning.
‘The Committee’s recommendations are an important step towards ensuring the NDIS works as it should for people with disability. We call on the NDIA to implement them quickly, reflecting the Committee’s call for urgent action,’ said PIAC Senior Solicitor, Chadwick Wong.
While around 96% of cases before the AAT involving the NDIA were finalised by settlement, settlement outcomes are not currently made public.
This makes it difficult for participants in the scheme to see what supports and funding are provided to people in similar situations and hold the NDIA accountable.
‘The publication of settlement outcomes will hopefully reduce the number of inconsistent decisions being made by the NDIA, where even brothers with similar impairments have been reported to receive very different support packages,’ said Chadwick Wong.
‘There are still many issues to be addressed, including the role of financial sustainability principles in planning decisions, funding gaps for people with complex needs, and the complexity of the NDIS review procedures. We hope that these will be picked up in the forthcoming Tune Review recommendations and the Joint Standing Committee’s Final Report due next year,’ added Mr Wong.
PIAC’s ‘A Fairer NDIS’ project has recently published an issues paper that distils key issues with the NDIS identified by the disability sector and suggests proposals for reform. Read it here.