The National Disability Insurance Scheme

(Report 14: 2017–18)

Audit objective

This audit assessed how effectively the Queensland Government is managing the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and how well prepared it is to oversee services after the transition.

Overview

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is transforming the way Australians with disability obtain support services. It is a major national reform, jointly governed and funded through a partnership between the Commonwealth and the state and territory governments.

The NDIS intends to give people choice and control over the supports they need, including the ability to manage their own funding if they wish.

It is changing the way disability support services are delivered, as well as government services such as education, health, housing, justice and transport services.

This audit assessed how effectively the Queensland Government is managing the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and how well prepared it is to oversee services after the transition.

Recommendations

Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors

We recommend that the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS), as lead agency for Queensland Government's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) implementation:

1. elevates oversight to ensure Cabinet is advised at regular intervals and in line with significant milestones and deliverables via a sub-committee or other relevant mechanism, to be determined by the Premier (Chapters 2 and 4)

2. strengthens whole-of-government program management to increase assurance regarding all impacted agencies' preparedness for the NDIS

This should include:

  • greater detail of planning (at a service level) by mainstream agencies affected by the NDIS, and proactive monitoring of progress, issues and risks
  • revising the scope of the Reform Leaders Group to reinforce senior executive decision-making esponsibilities and oversight capabilities. (Chapter 2)

3. develops readiness criteria for the remaining regions for formal sign-off prior to advising the minister on whether Year 3 transition should be delayed

This should include:

  • obtaining assurance from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) that infrastructure will be in place in accordance with the bilateral agreement
  • obtaining assurance from the NDIA that it has sufficiently and appropriately trained staff to accommodate Queensland's estimated third year intake, given that it will include high numbers, a significant percentage of new participants, a diversity of geography, and several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. (Chapter 2)

4. establishes formal mechanisms to share lessons learnt regularly and routinely, and risk information between governance groups such as the Reform Leaders Group and Transition Steering Committee (Chapter 2)

5. seeks to refine the terms and conditions in the intergovernmental agreement for full scheme to allow clearer escalation and resolution processes, particularly for mainstream agency service delivery responsibilities (Chapter 2)  

6. establishes the framework, key performance indicators, and data it needs to monitor the outcomes of Queensland NDIS participants and value for money. (Chapter 4)

Mainstream agencies impacted by the NDIS

We recommend agencies affected by the NDIS in Queensland:

7. strengthen internal governance and reporting arrangements at the service level so heads of agencies can provide the lead agency with accurate assessments about their agencies' readiness for the NDIS and any emerging risks. (Chapter 3)

Other reports and resources

Health: 2016–17 results of financial audits (Report 7: 2017–18)
Hospital and Health Services: 2015–16 results of financial audits (Report 9: 2016–17)
Hospital and Health Services: 2014-15 financial statements (Report 5: 2015-16)