NDIS report finds big blocks
A review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has found it is plagued with delays, frustrating and difficult to understand.
The NDIS was designed to be a highly dynamic, responsive, landmark new program for Australians with a disability.
Since soon after it was established in 2013, the NDIS has been criticised for being bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy.
Former senior public servant David Tune was commissioned to review the NDIS and its management by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) last year.
His report has come up with 29 recommendations to improve the program — including extending funding support for recipients from two to three years in some cases.
“People with disability have reported frustrations about the administration of the NDIS by the NDIA,” the report states.
“Transparency, consistency and timeliness in decision-making are critical issues and people with disability have reported poor experiences when working with NDIA staff.
“It will still take a number of years before the NDIS is delivering consistent, positive experiences for people with disability.”
The report noted that the NDIS is being rolled out on an “ambitious” timeframe, suggesting the NDIA should take the opportunity to fix some problems in coming years.
The 29 recommendations seek more flexibility for how recipients can use NDIS funds, measures to make funding plans simpler, and create a “participant service guarantee” to ensure basic standards.
“It is reasonable to expect that there will always be some gap between participants' expectations of the NDIA and the reality of what the NDIA will be able to provide,” the report said.
“The NDIA should aim to reduce this gap as much as possible.”
The Federal Government says it will formally respond the report in coming weeks.