Joint Standing Committee report into NDIS ICT systems released

Published 20 January 2019, revised 4 July 2019

Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) was pleased to see the release of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) report into NDIS ICT systems. AHPA members consistently report that issues with the digital systems used by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) are exacerbating their administrative challenges and adding to the cost of doing business.

Providers also report frustration with backend changes made by the NDIA that impact heavily on providers, without providing advice or consulting. Cancelled and inaccurate service bookings as part of the pricing update in July 2018 are a recent example. While our own view is primarily informed by providers, those providers regularly see the issues that the participants they support are experiencing and we note that those issues are equally important.

Given that experience, AHPA was pleased to see the recommendations made by the Committee and that the Committee took on board the submissions made by AHPA and some of our members.

The Committee has made the following recommendations:

  1. Recommendation 1 – The committee recommends the NDIA start the national rollout of the new pathways and make publicly available a clear schedule of the changes to be introduced along with implementation dates.
  2. Recommendation 2 – The committee recommends the NDIA review all documents, including guidelines, forms and policies, prior to their upload onto the new website to ensure that they are current, clearly dated, fit-for-purpose and written in clear language.
  3. Recommendation 3 – The committee recommends the NDIA implement a tracking system to enable end-users to track the status of their queries, create specialised NDIS Contact Centre teams based on the common types of issue raised by end-users, and co-design with end-users a fit-for-purpose chatbot for the website and portals.
  4. Recommendation 4 – The committee recommends the NDIA urgently recommence work on the development and implementation of its knowledge-management system to ensure consistent decision-making processes and accurate provision of advice across the agency.
  5. Recommendation 5 – The committee recommends the NDIA publish on the participant and provider portals the launch dates of future portal changes along with training materials.
  6. Recommendation 6 – The committee recommends the NDIA work with service providers and participants to co-design future enhancements to the portals and ‘Provider Finder’ tool.

AHPA supports these recommendations and hopes that they will be taken on by the NDIA we believe that they are practical and achievable and will significantly improve the experience of providers and participants. In particular we support the recommendation to work more closely on co-design and the need to ensure that there is more consistent, informed decision-making across the Agency.

To view the Committee’s report and recommendations, please visit the Australian Parliament Website.

To view the AHPA Submission to the Committee, please visit our Advocacy page.