The first Progress report on the implementation and administration of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has been released by the Joint Standing Committee.
The report makes 17 recommendations. Of particular interest are recommendation 4 and 6 concerning disclosure documentation and advocacy services :
4 The committee recommends that as part of the planning process, the NDIA implement a process similar to normal insurance industry practices, where participants are provided with: clear disclosure documentation (about the planning process that includes reference to the ‘no disadvantage test’); a written draft plan; incorporates a ‘cooling-off’ before a package is agreed; and requires participants to sign their final agreed plans. The committee believes that this is a fundamental element of the original intent of the policy to empower and provide choice to people with a disability in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
6 The committee notes the importance of the role of advocacy services in ensuring quality plans and supporting participants in the planning process. The committee recommends that certainty regarding the role and support for advocacy services in the NDIS be urgently resolved through the Ministerial Disability Reform Council.