NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Framework consultation process update

This session was part of the Advocacy Sector Conversation forum held at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre on 22 October 2015. Other sessions at this forum were:


 

Overview

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has provided funding to some disability support organisations to conduct consultations about activity areas which should be funded by the ILC Framework. Mary Mallett, CEO of Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) gave a brief presentation about the consultation process and explain how DSS plans to develop a commissioning process to fund delivery of ILC. Submissions for the framework close on 30 October 2015.

 

Resources

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Listen to podcast

 

Transcript

 

ROBYN GAILE:
Our next session as I mentioned earlier in the day, it’s a departure from the published agenda and I hope you can forgive us at DARU for that. We thought we would take advantage of Mary Mallet: being in town. MARY MALLETT: the CEO of DANA Disability Advocacy Network Australia is here today and she is going to take us through some information around the commissioning of the information linkages and capacity-building framework. And I will let her speak in more detail about that.

Mary will be using a whiteboard to aid in her discussions today but she will be quite verbal when describing what’s on the board. And as per the practice for the day, if you have any questions please raise your hand and wait for a microphone to come to you before you ask that question. Thanks over to you Mary.

MARY MALLETT:
It’s nice to be here this afternoon. This will be a high-speed condensed version of consultation around the ILC because this is meant to take 2 ½ hours and we haven’t got 2 ½ hours. So there is a set of materials, this material has been developed by the NDIA ILC engagement team. They sent out a wad of over produced, over engineered stuff which everybody I know who has been asked to do these consultations is irritated in the extreme because it’s called co-design and to be perfectly honest they wouldn’t know co-design if they fell over it. I haven’t told them that to their face yet, I will eventually.

Anyway, it is important. Some organisations are refusing to do the process because they don’t like the co-design, the materials and stuff. I’m being pragmatic. It’s important that the advocacy sector gets some opportunity to have a say in this so I’m ignoring the rest of the stuff. The ILC is what Tier 2 – Information Linkages was and Capacity Building is what it’s called. I will email all that to Robyn and she can email it out so all of you can read any of this that you want to. We will send the materials. There is including an easy English one, which isn’t easy English. It will entertain you as you read them.

Anyway, really I shouldn’t be facetious about it. It’s actually important. There are important things about it. There is an important lesson, which is that the people in the NDIA have very little understanding of this part of the sector or the DPO’s, the peak bodies, any part of the community part of the disability sector. I think they understand the bureaucratic side, they understand the service sector and they don’t understand the rest of it. The reason why that’s important is because that’s what the ILC is all about. They’ve done an over engineered process because they don’t trust that any of us know anything about anything. And they don’t trust that we know how to talk to or engage with people, members, clients, or the people that they deal with. That’s why it’s important actually and why they have to learn over time, hopefully they will.

So the ILC what this is about is having input into the ILC Commissioning Framework which means how they spend the money. I can’t remember and if anybody in the room Michael you may know, or anyone else, how much money is going to be spent every year on this part of the NDIS?

1.5% of the scheme, that’s interesting. Someone yesterday told me $140 million a year. I thought I had a figure in my head previously but it was more than that. I might be wrong, I have to go back and check. They’ve divided it into five activity streams. I’ll touch on the fifth one first because that’s local area coordination. That will use half the money. The other four will get the rest of the half of the money between them.

Local area coordination, the closest thing I think in Victoria to that is probably the rural and metro access workers and it’s not exactly the same but they’re the Victorian sort of equivalent. The model they’re using is the WA model, which are Government employees. But these people will not be NDIA employees. There will be about 4,500 local area coordinators around the country in proportion to the population. Each of them – the little bit that I know about them is that each of them will have a case load of 55 to 60 or 65 families or people with disability. Half of who will be inside the scheme will be participants and the other half won’t be. The other half will be people whose only disability support or access is through this information linkages and capacity building area.

All of that is important because there are 460,000 people who will have a participants plan, a funded plan of supports. But I think there is 2 ½ million Australians of working age who have a disability and that’s only 15 to 64 year olds, that’s not including children I think. So there are many more people who will have a disability, acknowledge disability but who won’t be getting a participants plan. So the support they get through the NDIS will be through this ILC stuff. We all have to get our heads around it fairly quickly.

Right now what they’re doing before end of year is developing this commissioning framework which will determine how they dole out the money so what grants they give, who they give them to, what areas they focus on and they’re doing this slightly peculiar consultation process around it. I don’t know, just actually is anybody here aware of or been part of any consultation around the ILC? No, that’s interesting.

So the local area coordinators will be scattered around the place, embedded in their community and helping people to access the community. Helping the people who have the plans to implement their plans and helping other people to do other stuff, which we’ll talk about in a minute.

The other four activity streams first one is information linkages and referrals. It’s obvious about access to reliable up to date relevant information. The example is access to specific information about the impact a particular disability might have on someone’s life. It might be face-to-face or online. Second activity stream is capacity building of mainstream services. The example they give is might be setting up a partnership project between people with a disability and a particular service to improve awareness of the service. Their examples are terrible. Maybe I won’t even bother reading them out because you can understand what the thing is. So information linkages referrals, capacity building of mainstream services.

Number 3 is community awareness and understanding. So improving community awareness around disability should make it easier for people with disability to participate fully in their community.  It’s an awareness campaign around children with disability belonging to local sporting clubs is their example there. Then individual capacity building. There are two capacity-building things mentioned. One is capacity building of mainstream services, the other one is individual capacity building for people with disability. And their example there is one that’s relevant to us because it says a peer support program for people with disability to self-advocate is an example of something that may be eligible for ILC funding.

One of the things to keep in your minds as you’re thinking about this is that the ILC funding will replace a whole lot of things that are currently funded now predominately by State Governments actually, possibly some Commonwealth things as well but the Commonwealth has never funded much of this stuff anyway. So this is not talking about replacing individual advocacy, well Commonwealth individual advocacy will certainly continue, at least for the foreseeable future. The State funded individual advocacy will continue. It’s not about that stuff. The kinds of advocacy related stuff that might be included in here as far as we can tell might be citizen advocacy maybe, and self-advocacy. So self-advocacy is hardly funded anyway but if it’s going to be funded from somewhere, it’s likely that it would be in here.

So they’ve got these activity streams and then they’ve got funding areas. The funding – the feedback they want from the workshops is to tell them which of these funding areas are important. Now they have an activity in there that I’m supposed to do with you and I won’t, but I’ll describe it to you. They’ve provided a page full of pretend dollar notes and I’m supposed to photocopy them and give each of you ten of them and then get you to use them as votes to vote on which funding areas you think are the most important. And I’m supposed to count them up and make a percentage out of them and feed that back to them. So some workshops will indeed do that. Advocates in Sydney that I did this with on Friday, said they’d rip them up if I gave them to them. So I’ll read you out what the funding areas are and you’ll see I think that actually all of them need to be funded which is why however we’ve voted on them – anyway I will read them out.

So the funding as I’m reading them out just bear in mind that anything that gets funded onto the ILC will have to fit into one or more of these funding areas. The more funding areas it fits into the more likely it is to get funded. So if something fits into, can tick a couple of boxes it’s more likely to get funded than a proposal that just fits one of them. So this means many of the kind of things your organisations might want to be doing, this is how you’re going to have to get the money for it. I don’t know yet. Any QUESTION:s in your mind please jot them down or ask them in a minute if you get a chance. So there is things I don’t know answers to, I don’t know if they’re thinking of just short term one off annual funding rounds or is any of this designed to be long term sustainable 5, 10 year funding programs, I don’t know that.

So the five funding areas will be specialist or expert delivery is the first one. Their example is another website so its programs and organisations that can provide specialist support which will complement the general information that the local areas coordinators will be able to provide. Example might be a website, which provides information about a particular disability or condition such as Down Syndrome or autism or vision impairment.

Cohort focused delivery is a term they use even in the easy English version, which is why you know that these people have never met a person or dealt with a person with intellectual disability because they think they know what a cohort is. Basically, this is specific groups. Their examples are CALD or indigenous groups. It’s setting up a partnership project between people with disability and a particular service to improve awareness of the service amongst a group of people with disability that have not previously accessed a service. They said it might include people who come from a culturally or linguistically diverse community or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community. Cohort focused is their way of putting people in specific particular groups.

Multi regional supports just means things that might be national or across two or three States but not something that’s local to a region or even maybe to a State. The example is a national public campaign run by people with disability to promote social inclusion.

Remote and rural solutions is Funding Area D about recognising particular challenges and ensuring people’s needs are met if they live in rural or remote areas, some activity in regional or remote areas to ensure people with disability in those areas to have access to ILC initiatives designed for their local needs. The example is an online support group for siblings who care for people with disability, which allow siblings in remote and rural areas to communicate, share experiences.

(inaudible – too far from mic)

Yeah-good point. And then Funding Area E is delivery by people with disability for people with disability. So the NDIA wants to prioritise these activities to make sure people with disability have a chance to support one another. A good example might be peer support groups for people with a disability who want to learn how to self-manage their NDIS plans.

That’s the five. I’ll run through those again the five funding areas that everything is covered by the ILC will have to fit into is specialist or expert delivery, which might mean any of say Down Syndrome Victoria as an example. The Multiple Sclerosis Society, if they’ve been getting State funding and I can’t speak about the Victorian situation, Michael may or may not want to. But certainly, in some of the other States and Territories those State Governments are saying they can’t wait for this stuff to come in because they want to hand it all over. They will be expecting everything, many of the things they’ve been doing have been funding to fit in under here and be funded. So specialist and expert stuff, which their examples imply that means disability specific, it might be broader than that.

Cohort focused which is Aboriginal and CALD, which could be other groups if you think other groups, should fit in there. Multi regional, which just means covering multiple areas. Remote and rural or disability led initiatives and that’s peer support groups. The DSO’s anybody here involved in or any of your organisations running one of the disability DSO’s under the – no. Okay I can’t remember to be honest which organisations in Victoria are doing the DSO’s. Valid is.

(inaudible – too far from mic)

Down Syndrome Victoria. So the DSO’s that funding has been brought in under the ILC already and the woman Kirsten Deen in the NDIA who is running that program she is now working for the ILC team. So that’s what that stuff is about kind of that DSO project. But I presume other things that are led by people with disability.

So are there funding areas – they’re asking for suggestions. If there are funding areas that you think that should be a FG whatever, however many other funding areas that are not included at all that should be added as separate extra ones or any of these that could be amended to add in other issues, points, people, groups, whatever that won’t be covered. And are there any organisations that you can immediately think of in Victoria that might be at risk, that you think well where are they going to get funded, will they get funding through here? You can shut them out, we can you know.

(inaudible – too far from mic)

QUESTION:
Do you think we’re all at risk? With this here it’s just sounding a lot like what happened with the DSO’s that the advocacy services missed out while the specialist services like Valid and Down Syndrome Victoria, they all got the funding and we got nothing?

MARY MALLETT:
That’s an interesting QUESTION:. The risk isn’t even from those organisations. The risk is because every single service provider in the country, there are lots and lots of workshops happening right now that service providers are paying lots of money for to learn how to maximise the amount of money they can get out of this. So the other sort of disability specific organisations and other advocacy organisations are not the threat in this I have to say. It’s much, much bigger than that. It’s every community organisation.

But every disability service provider, they literally are – I have seen a little bit of the material that some are putting around, and it’s them working out, spending a lot of time and effort working out how they can get the most money out of this. And my concern is that the people in the NDIA who may make the funding decisions are relatively new at this, some are anyway. They almost don’t understand the sector well enough to know what it is they should fund. So what that means is they need to build good guidelines in their commissioning framework. But building guidelines in to protect something goes against them building a market-based system.

QUESTION:
They just don’t seem to be considering advocacy in there at all.

MARY MALLETT:
No so that’s one of the things I’ve realised. Actually, in the last few days a lot of the advocacy organisations are having their AGMs. Several in the last few days have sent me through their annual reports. I know fairly well what they do but I have still been surprised, I read two of them earlier this morning one in Victoria and one elsewhere and I’ve made notes to go back and talk to their managers about programs that they’re running that I didn’t know they are running, and they’re things that fit completely into here.

They’re these kind of community awareness and understanding stuff or capacity building of mainstream services, individual capacity building of people, which lots of them do. So there is all these programs that advocacy organisations often apply, they spend a lot of the year looking for small grants and programs and they’re often running or trying to apply for a lot of other activities.

I have a feeling maybe that I should try and collect a list to ask all the advocacy organisations in the last few years, not through their straight forward advocacy funding, but any other funding they’ve managed to source that are these community program stuff that they’ve done, what are the ones they’ve applied for but didn’t get the funding for. So things they want to do but couldn’t, because I think that will demonstrate some of this stuff. The capacity or the expertise probably that’s within the advocacy organisations and the mindset of being, wanting to do some of this work.

ROBYN GAILE:
Does anyone else have a QUESTION:, do you mind if I ask one then?

MARY MALLETT:
Yeah.

ROBYN GAILE:
I think part of the problem is they’re not necessarily using a criteria when they’re choosing successful applicants that value advocacy and I don’t know whether part of what we should be inputting into this – if we’re having a say about their policy, is that perhaps need to have some sort of a hierarchy of who their successful applicants should be and independence from service provision might be one of the things you tick a box about that makes you a higher quality applicant. Is that possible to include?

MARY MALLETT:
Yeah we should suggest it. I agree and I’m not taking notes because this always gets recorded, it will come back to me. But as a suggestion, I think that’s completely true. They may look at some of this and say some of these things should be independent and some shouldn’t and some don’t need to be, I don’t know.

ROBYN GAILE:
They may not always need to be but if they are, isn’t that adding value, isn’t that adding quality, isn’t that reducing conflict of interest potential, or isn’t that something worth ticking the box and saying that’s better?

MARY MALLETT:
Absolutely and the service providers won’t be telling them that, it has to come from this part of the sector. Sorry, there is the dollar notes you didn’t get in case anyone says have you been to one of these workshops.

The other thing they’ve got some things they say that if you had advice to give to the NDIA about how to build this part of the scheme is there advice you would give them, are there things you would say that they definitely should do or are there things you would say that they shouldn’t do? That independence one is one of those. Anything else anybody can think of and are there any risks you foresee that’s another QUESTION:?

I’m (inaudible – 21.12)
Again, the issue of building guidelines does need to be a focus of attention even if they seem to be saying no, its market based. I think we need to as advocacy organisations put that issue across clearly to them.

MARY MALLETT:
Yep. Just looking at their other QUESTION:s, can you think of any services existing or future that are worthy of funding but don’t seem to fit into any of these categories.

QUESTION:
What about where there are communities or people with disability where they would like to participate in ILC and get funding but are not in a position to prepare the data that you might need to put into a submission? I mean that’s why the service providers are ahead of the pack, they’ve got the funding already. They’re using the funding to put together the submissions. And those that can’t won’t get in.

MARY MALLETT:
Very good point because that will apply to the stuff here about the delivery by people with disability for people with disability. It’s almost like they need the capacity, people need the capacity building to happen beforehand so they can then put in these applications. I agree and a lot of those kinds of applications would normally be support by an advocacy organisation who may not get funded to do that.

QUESTION:
I think it’s the feedback around the cohort. Obviously, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and CALD are important but then there is the other cohorts of the young people and women and other ones. I just wondered they didn’t mention them there.

MARY MALLETT:
Yeah somebody exactly said that to me – where does specific work for women with disability and you’re the first person that mentioned youth with disability. It’s not obvious. I expect they might be under cohort focused. The advocates in Sydney wanted to add another funding area, which was around isolated and vulnerable people. There is sort of two groups within that. There are people with significant disability but on the whole, you would expect if the NDIS works properly they will have a proper funded plan and everything they need in theory will be funded under that plan. But the group that won’t automatically get a plan are the people with intellectual disability who live on the fringes, the ones who are in touch with the justice system and drug and alcohol issues sometimes. That particular group of people are the ones who unless the NDIA does really good outreach, they may not fall in – and it may turn out they’re not found eligible. We’re already seeing the eligibility stuff is about to be tested pretty much – yeah I won’t go into this. At the end, I will speak a couple of minutes about something else. We will just stick to this for a minute.

ROBYN GAILE:
Of course, DARU is neutral on matters such as this so I’m speaking on behalf of an anonymous friend. You’ve kind of touched on it a little bit here, but outreach services specifically for the isolated groups of people who have complex communication needs. Like people for instance, who are deaf blind, people with severe intellectual and physical disability who are in institutional care and don’t necessarily have natural family supports that can advocate for them.

MARY MALLETT:
That’s interesting. We have to pursue that a bit more with the NDIA. Whether they are assuming all those people will come in as a participant get a funded plan and be fine but the things that are arising in the trial sites are people are getting plans but there aren’t the services for them. So they’ve got money allocated to them but they can’t spend them because the services don’t exist, the kind of services who would provide what they need. That’s going to get more and more obvious and some of these services are not things that there is a market ready to provide and prices that the NDIA have set are very tight. So the service providers are saying well we can’t do it, we can’t do it for that money.

This stuff isn’t going to deal with any of that. That’s a whole other set of NDIA issues. All of this reflects the principles in the Act and all the nice things the NDIA is going to achieve. But all of you also would know that developing, any serious level of community awareness and understanding, making Australian society more inclusive of people with disability, it’s not necessarily huge amounts of money is it? Its huge amounts of work by the right people at every level, every local community.

The NDIA write this stuff as if nobody has been doing this. Everybody in this room has been trying to do this for years. And it’s tiny, tiny little incremental things that occasionally you get a win. It’s hard, it’s hard to then try and package this up into funding streams to say oh well yes as I  said, go back to the voting for a second, which is what they want to do.

They want at mathematical thing back from this room. I am supposed to have recorded all your names, I will get the list and given you each, ten votes. I’m supposed to say how many votes that counts up for and what percentage of them is spent on each area. Now it is patronising and ridiculous because how can – if we all voted you’re all in the City of Melbourne but some of you are here from regional areas, but if none of you were and everybody here was a city organisation, you might not get a single vote for remote and rural solutions. What would that mean? It would mean the vote back, it’s like Eurovision. The vote from Victoria says we don’t vote for remote and rural. So of course what they get, the mathematical stuff they get back will be completely determined by who it is that does the consultations, who takes part in them. They cannot possibly use that in any meaningful way to determine how they split up this funding.

QUESTION:
Let’s be strategic.

MARY MALLETT:
Good George. Let’s be strategic.

QUESTION:
We can sit and complain about the process for the next 10 minutes. What do we need to do to help?

MARY MALLETT:
What I think this group needs to do collectively in the next few minutes but also I will stick up my email address, please email me anything you think of. The 30th of October is when this stuff has to go back in. So CEO@DANA.org.au. Anything you think of in the meantime that is the kind of stuff that will get missed out, the kind of work that you’re organisations do that you’re worried won’t have a place to get funding from in the future. Or the things that you can see would fit into these but you don’t know where would you get – this is an opportunity. If this stuff works, well it actually in theory should be a really good opportunity for the advocacy sector to build on what we already do and do some other work.

QUESTION:
Can I mention the elephant in the room?

MARY MALLETT:
You can mention it.

QUESTION:
Individual advocacy, independent individual advocacy.

MARY MALLETT:
Yeah but it’s separate from this.

QUESTION:
Have they said that?

MARY MALLETT:
Well yes. The ILC people won’t get engaged at all in a discussion around that. All they will say is we’re not funding it.

QUESTION:
Don’t they also say that a lot of it is not their responsibility? So if you wanted to for example fix the problem of lack of deaf blind interpreters and get some funding through one of these, wouldn’t they say that’s not our responsibility because State Governments are responsible to pay for certain things and everything is not our due? Don’t they do that?

MARY MALLETT:
No because going back to what the scheme is about, the scheme is about funding plans for individuals. So somebody using, continuing that thing about a deaf blind person, then if the plan is done properly they get the right amount of support in their plan, then they will have enough interpreter hours built into their plan.

QUESTION:
The problem isn’t the hours. The problem is the lack of interpreters. That’s somebody else’s problem.

MARY MALLETT:
You’re right that’s a really good point. In discussions, I’ve had the last few days there have been many of those things highlighted where the health systems for instance don’t provide what people need. What’s happened is all around the country the disability system has had to pick up and try and cover the things that other systems don’t. Health and mental health in particular, pushing things out to the disability sector. The NDIA won’t do that. The NDIA is completely fixed tight black lines. If this is the responsibility of another sector, we won’t pay for it. So there will be very many tension points and clashing against State Departments around this.

QUESTION:
I guess what I’m wondering is if we could say to them as part of this consultation that there are some things which perhaps State Government just don’t get and part of the role is to give them a leg up at times so that if they haven’t for example, put enough funding into training people to provide the support that the dollars are there to pay for, but the people aren’t then maybe there is a role for the NDIA in doing something about that and spending some of their money to make sure that happens.

MARY MALLETT:
And I reckon the brutal reality is they won’t. I honestly think what this is going to be is a big National Federally funded system that will stay in its box. It will fund the things, the peoples stuff in people’s plans and it will refuse to for lots of reasons about the way States and the way the Federal system works. That State Government and Commonwealth Government neither of them want to fund something the other one is responsible for. The NDIA has taken on funding a particular set of things but they will absolutely not be funding anything they think a State Government should be doing. They’re saying that over and over again now. It’s getting louder. Their message is getting stronger and louder around that. It’s now showing in people’s plan, people’s reviews as the reviews of plans are happening. This is probably more even community level stuff or something I think.

QUESTION:
I was just thinking around that, one of the areas was capacity building for other organisations. So would those organisations have to be national organisations?

MARY MALLETT:
No that could be done at a local level, absolutely. That is the kind of stuff that will fit in. So anything you think of please do send me an email in any random single thought that you have in the next week or so about this.

QUESTION:
Hi, if you can’t argue for deaf blind interpreters, can you build in a funding that promotes the disability discrimination legislation as part of a community educational program?

MARY MALLETT:
Yes, you probably could.

QUESTION:
Not sure which area, would it come under cohort focused? Something around – just that broad systemic stuff that’s not my fault but it’s your fault, but it’s your fault.

MARY MALLETT:
It is part of capacity building of mainstream services isn’t it and community awareness and understanding. But this stuff is about who would get paid to deliver it. They probably would be looking at people with disability by that stuff maybe. People with disability led.

QUESTION:
People with disability have to tell people to stop discriminating against me again. It’s like asking any victim to be the voice again.

MARY MALLETT:
It’s probably maybe the specialist or expert delivery one maybe in conjunction
with people with a disability. That’s likely. What they will fund within those things is not clear. This is a funny thing. You’re trying to second guess something, it’s being developed now and trying to think of what it is. I’m not sure in Victoria. In NSW it was clearer because the risks are looming much more rapidly in NSW because their State Government has told all of the information and advocacy organisations that they’re not funding them past the end of June next year. I don’t know if you know NSW CRD for instance as an example or Ideas which is an information service, they do fantastic work but both of them are NSW Government funded and they’re the kind of organisations that could in theory disappear if the ILC doesn’t come in and then allow funding of the activities they do.

That’s the other thing in all of this material. The ILC people say that we won’t guarantee to continue funding to any particular organisation just because it’s currently there. But they do want to know what are the ones that people might be worried about, that you would miss if they weren’t there. I know that’s hard to think through. I know there is a lot of people thinking they’re making an assumption that all the existing organisations will still be there but that may not be the case.

The final thing, the other part of it they wanted input they’ve got a page about the difference between an output and an outcome. What they want to know is how will they know if any of this make a difference. They say they won’t be measuring outputs they want to measure the outcomes of the money that gets spent on the ILC. If you have any immediate thoughts about that or anything you want to email me about how will they know, how will the NDIA know if any of this is successful? What would it look like, what should the outcomes achieve?

So they will develop this new commissioning framework. Commissioning is the new term everyone seems to use now for grant guidelines or how you administer grants. They call it commissioning. They’ve been using the word in the UK for quite a while, I don’t know if that’s where it’s come from but if you hear people talk about commissioning that’s what they mean. So they may talk about commissioning advocacy which would be nice, they should commission more of it.

This is the framework, this is not the detailed work yet on exactly what they will fund. This will give the broad guidelines for what kind of things they might fund and then at some stage they will have to set up grant application processes in some way. My assumption is that regardless of what votes they get back on this stuff of course their grants and the way they allocate the money, the money that will be used for Victoria would have to be in proportion to the population of people with disability in Victoria. Maybe. And then there will be – that’s when some of this other stuff will come into it.

So the remote and rural stuff maybe Victoria won’t get much of that, maybe that will be WA, NT, Outback Qld. Maybe those are the areas that will get rural and remote money and Victoria won’t get any. The CALD and Indigenous stuff again they will look at the populations where they are and what additional assistance they need. That might be that Melbourne, particular part of Melbourne, particular communities in Melbourne, might get some additional funding through there. That’s presumably the obvious work they’re doing in the background.

The other thing I should mention this is not starting from a zero base. What they have done and I don’t know if they’re still doing it or finished it, but they asked the State Departments, Government, Offices to map what was funded in their State under these type of activities. So they will be getting, they may have already got it or still yet to receive it from some, a fairly detailed set of information which they will then overlay over this stuff. My understanding is the State Departments will have told them what it is, maybe not under these headings not sure, what it is that they fund that look like this stuff.

QUESTION:
One thing I’m concerned about the timeline, around when all this is going to happen. I just feel that often when we’re told that there is an opportunity it’s two weeks later and we don’t have the capacity to do these amazing submissions or the time. Some of the feedback that we provide them is that we need time.

MARY MALLETT:
You mean at the point in which they’re putting out grant processes, they need to allow more time?

QUESTION:
Yeah I’m talking about at least a couple of months.

MARY MALLETT:
Good point, very good point and we should feed that back in strongly. The way they’ve done this process, they sent the stuff out the 1st of October and the feedback has to be back by the 30th. A few organisations who objected they’ve just said oh well we’re sorry you can’t take part.

(laughter)

MARY MALLETT:
The process for feeding back the input is survey monkey, which will take about an hour and a half it says. You can’t save it and come back to it later. You have to do the thing at the one time. Anyway, it’s useful. It’s actually useful they’ve done it like this because it gives a good insight into what are the things they want to change.

QUESTION:
Can I ask a QUESTION: about what they do with the information, do we know? Are they going to give us feedback?

MARY MALLETT:
No. By December, they have to have developed their commissioning framework. In November and December, they will be pulling together any input they get and by the end of December, they have to have this commissioning framework ready because the ILC will be rolling out, this is my understanding, from July of next year they will start rolling it out.

QUESTION:
Then what will happen if they do collect outcomes or outputs that show them that they actually had maybe weighted those five areas wrongly or in a way, which wasn’t going to give them the best outcomes and outputs? Won’t they then have to change it? Is there a period of evaluation?

MARY MALLETT:
I don’t know is the short answer. I will be trying hard though to make sure we get some opportunity to have a look at a draft of something. The issue is if lots of people suggest other funding areas but they haven’t been part of the consultations, other people haven’t had a chance to comment on them – ROBYN GAILE: is about to wind me up.

I’m going to tell you two other things I’m currently doing. If you want to talk to me about it, feed anything into me about it, it needs to be as quick as anything.

The external merit review support thing is being reviewed at the moment. In the NDIA if somebody has a complaint an appeal, each thing they want to appeal there is an internal process and then it goes to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. In Victoria, it’s Riac. One advocacy organisation in each trial site was funded to provide external merit review support. That comes through DSS and that’s being reviewed right now. Deloitte are the consultants doing it. There is still a bit of an opportunity to feed more stuff into them about that. It’s about whether it’s working, how it’s working, how they will scale that out to cover the whole country in the roll out.

The other thing the NDIS legislation. That’s being reviewed also right now. That’s an even tighter timeline. If you have anything you know about the NDIS Act or rules you think are not right or could be worded better, any issues that you know about, so mainly it’s the advocacy organisations that have been active in the trial sites that know this and I have gathered information from them. But any of you have the tiny thing that you know about the NDIS legislation that you think needs to be amended get back to me as quick as you can. Ernst and Young are doing that piece of work.

Before ROBYN GAILE: opens her mouth you will get three surveys from DANA shortly, you will get them next week. One is about advocacy and the NDIS, one is an advocacy sector workforce survey for everybody who works in an advocacy organisation to fill out so we can get some baseline data about the advocacy sector workforce. And one is just for managers to fill out about other stuff. Keep an eye out for them next week.

(applause)