Editors Note: This is the first we have heard from the NDIA that there are any problems with the legislative framework underpinning the NDIS. It would be far preferable if the NDIA consulted with the disability sector and then co-designed the changes rather than the proposal being contained in a hidden submission uncovered by good FOI work. It is not a good sign when the Agency doesn’t publicly consult and discuss its proposals.
The agency overseeing the $22-billion National Disability Insurance Scheme has indicated it wants greater powers to control costs.
The scheme is rolling out nationwide from July and will give hundreds of thousands of people individual funding packages to manage their own care.
The Federal Government has previously warned of a funding gap in excess of $5 billion by the end of the decade.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has publicly played down risks to the scheme’s financial sustainability.
But documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws show the NDIA has suggested a raft of changes to the laws underpinning the program.
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In a submission to an independent review of the NDIS Act it suggested changes to “ensure the agency has the capacity required to control costs” and “increase the efficiency of the scheme”.
“The act and rules are silent on significant amounts of implementation and operational detail,” the submission said.
The NDIA also warned it did not have the power to ensure people who receive compensation spend that money on lifetime care.
It said people could instead buy a house and then continue to access the taxpayer-funded NDIS.
NDIA concerned about inequity between participants
The agency said it was concerned the situation could “create an inequity between participants who pursue and use awards of compensation according to the…