Message from the Chair and Chief Executive Officer
It is our pleasure to present the third Annual Report of the National Disability Insurance Agency (the Agency).
The last 12 months have represented another period of significant progress and achievement. The trial phase has been completed—on time, on budget and with a very high rate of participant satisfaction. The Scheme has been refined and improved—as part of the Agency’s philosophy of learning while building. And an enormous effort has gone into preparing for the transition to full Scheme which commenced on 1 July 2016.
Very importantly, the full trial results indicate that the Productivity Commission’s financial forecast of full Scheme costs of $22 billion in 2019-20 remains the most reliable estimate. By continuing to embed a strong insurance approach across the organisation, the Agency will remain well placed to manage the Scheme’s long-term performance and ongoing sustainability.
Bilateral agreements have been signed by the Commonwealth Government with all jurisdictions for the full implementation of the Scheme, with the exception of Western Australia (WA). In WA the trial period will be extended for another 12 months, while the results from the comparison between the Scheme and WA NDIS are evaluated.
As at 30 June 2016 more than 35 000 people had become participants in the Scheme with more than 30 000 participants having approved plans.
Over the next three years it is anticipated that a further 425 000 participants will enter the Scheme. This is a major transformation, with a large number of people joining the Scheme during a short period of time, and is being introduced in stages to ensure it is successful and sustainable.
Implementing the Scheme will require strong partnerships between the Agency and people with disability, families, carers, service providers, Local Area Coordinators, communities, as well as governments at all levels, because the NDIS is based on mutuality.
The Scheme is expected to create around 60 000 to 70 000 new jobs on a full-time equivalent basis by 2020 and will be a vital source of new employment. The Agency has developed and continues to share our detailed Market Position Statements helping the sector and new organisations anticipate and respond to expected future participant needs.
In the lead up to the start of transition to full Scheme, the Agency undertook an enormous amount of work, drawn from the experiences during the trial phase, to develop a new Service Delivery Operating Model, agree new partnerships for Local Area Coordination and develop a new IT system.
In the first two months of operation of the new payments portal, Myplace, there were a number of issues which blocked payments and we apologise for the stress and hardship this has caused to disability service providers and participants. Payments are now being processed successfully.
This experience has been a timely reminder of the need to work closely at all times and communicate effectively with the disability sector. This will be especially important in the context of ongoing enhancements to the IT platform, including the development of an e‑market.
During the transition phase there will undoubtedly be many new challenges, because the size and complexity of the NDIS mean that we will not get everything right, first time.
However, our track record of agile, measured and highly effective responses to the challenges thus far should give confidence that we are building the NDIS successfully.
Our loyal and dedicated staff and partners are our greatest asset and as an employer—we are proud that nearly 16 per cent of the Agency workforce identified as having a disability and over 50 per cent of our staff have a lived experience of disability.
Compared to other public service agencies we are performing well when it comes to the recruitment and retention of people with disability. However, we are striving to do more to employ people with disability and to model inclusive workplace practices.
We know that high performing teams embrace and are strengthened by their diversity, whether it be differences of opinion, personality, gender, age, race or ability.
We thank participants, their families and carers, service providers, peak bodies and the Australian community for your ongoing support of the Scheme. Your confidence, trust and support is essential.
Finally, we would like to thank our staff and partners for their dedication and commitment.
Together, through shared vision, purpose and actions, we are confident we will deliver the NDIS successfully in the years ahead.