Productivity Commission Review of NDIS Costs

On 20 January 2017, the Commonwealth Government announced a Productivity Commission Review into NDIS costs, consistent with the Heads of Agreements with the states and territories and the Commonwealth. The Productivity Commission had always planned to conduct a review in 2017 to ensure the NDIS was operating sustainably and providing the best outcomes for participants.

The Agency made a submission to the Productivity Commission in March 2017. At 30 June 2017, more than 200 submissions to the Review had been presented from a range of stakeholders including the Department of Social Services (), service providers, community groups, peak bodies, and individual participants and their families. The level of public engagement in the Productivity Commission demonstrates the high level of public resolve to make the NDIS a success.

The review is intended to inform the final design of the full Scheme by focussing on updating initial cost projections estimated by the Productivity Commission and by providing advice on longer-term projections and overall sustainability issues.

A preliminary position paper of the Productivity Commission published in June 2017 sought feedback on the Commission’s preliminary conclusions, and any additional issues for consideration before the public release of the final study report in October 2017.

The position paper raised a number of concerns in relation to the experience of NDIS participants and providers. As highlighted throughout this report, the Productivity Commission’s concerns are consistent with those raised by the Agency and the Agency has commenced a number of initiatives in response to these issues, for example through the Participant and Provider Pathway Review and Independent Pricing Review.

On 17 July 2017, the Agency made a submission in response to the position paper. The response notes that the Agency generally agrees with the findings and recommendations of the paper, and that many of these are already being addressed, but that it disagrees with the proposals for an independent pricing regulator and for informal carer payments.