A fairer NDIS: PIAC calls for more transparency re settlements

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October 28, 2019

PIAC has called for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to make public the details of appeal cases it is settling with scheme participants, to promote transparency, accountability, and an overall fairer system for people with disability.

This was a key point in our evidence before the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS in October. Our appearance before the Committee follows our submission made on 6 September 2019.

The latest figures published by the NDIA show that approximately 96% of cases that are appealed are settled without a hearing. In these cases, the matters are settled in private, with no information published as to what supports the participant requested, what the NDIA was prepared to give them, and what was ultimately approved after a lengthy review and appeals process.

As reported in the media, the NDIA has, in some cases, significantly increased the amount of funding approved for participants at the settlement stage.

‘The lack of transparency around decision-making and appeal settlements makes it hard to understand the NDIA’s decisions and to hold it to account’, said Chadwick Wong from PIAC. ‘It also makes it hard for participants to understand what they can ask for, and what they can expect to be funded.’

PIAC is calling for the publication of all settlement outcomes in a de-identified way. Specifically, information about what supports were sought by a participant, what was originally approved, and what the NDIA ultimately agreed to provide should be made publicly available. The publication of these outcomes can be done in a way that respects the privacy of the individuals involved.

‘NDIA decision-making needs to be transparent, accountable and consistent, so that participants and would-be participants can fully exercise choice and control over the supports they want’, said Chadwick Wong. ‘The publication of this information would go some way towards realising that goal.’

Read our submission here.

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