NDIS: 2019 review report released

Former Department of Finance secretary David Tune has released his review findings into the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The review found service delivery has so far worked well for adults with physical disability, but not for people with psychosocial disability or those with developmental delay, partly due to “a lack of clarity in the legislation on appropriate service responses” and a one-size-fits-all approach. Meanwhile, complaints from people with disability have centred on the administration of the NDIS by the NDIA, as well as transparency, consistency and timeliness issues.

Mr Tune made 29 recommendations including various legislative amendments and the introduction of the Participant Service Guarantee. The Participant Service Guarantee should also empower participants to be able to review and consider a full version of their draft plan before it is approved, inclusive of the estimated plan budget. The provision of a whole draft plan is an important mechanism to ensure decision-making processes are transparent and for keeping the participant at the centre of the planning process.

The full report is available online here. The 29 recommendations begin on page 13.

As to legislative reforms, the reports suggests that the Australian Government can support the NDIA to deliver better outcomes for psycho-social disability cohorts through legislating changes that:
• clarify when an impairment is considered permanent for people with psychosocial
disability, appreciating that their needs may be episodic and fluctuate over time
• clarify that the determination of reasonable and necessary supports for people with
psychosocial disability should be aligned with best practice recovery approaches
• give the NDIA more flexibility to support families to build their capacity in
understanding the needs of their child and exercise informed choice and control
• move the concept of reasonable and necessary supports for children towards
a family-centred planning approach.