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NDIS cost-cutting taskforce told to reduce growth in participants and spending

The agency that runs the national disability insurance scheme has quietly established a new taskforce aimed at cutting growth in funding packages and participant numbers. Guardian Australia has obtained an internal document that shows the National Disability Insurance Agency has created a new unit to make “short term, immediate changes” to the scheme, citing a forecast “cost overrun in 2021-22”.

Disability sector demands answers from Federal Government over “tampered” NDIS review

The disability sector is demanding answers from the Federal Government over the independence of a report used to justify controversial reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Documents released to Labor appear to show the 2019 NDIS review was amended by public servants to include a section advocating for the rollout of permanent independent assessments – which disability advocates are opposed to.

Secret documents show department inserted chapter into NDIS review

Emails and draft copies of the 2019 report, written by former senior public servant David Tune, show National Disability Insurance Agency officials inserted an entire chapter into the review of the scheme’s legislation, and made substantial changes to almost every part of the document.

Dr Ben Gauntlett, Senate Estimates statement

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett told Senate estimates it was important to remember that the independent assessment policy change had not yet been put into legislation. While he said he welcomed increased consistency, equity and efficacy in the delivery of scheme, he had concerns the proposed process for independent assessments undermined its effectiveness and would not have the intended effect for individuals with complex support needs.

Leaked laws reveal plan to kick Australians off the $22 billion NDIS

The Morrison government is considering radical reforms to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme including denying funding to Australians with acquired brain injuries and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as well as reducing avenue of appeal for participants as part of secret plans to save costs.

Independent Assessments: Look what you’ve created

Independent Assessments are putting complete control over my ability to live an ordinary life in the hands of seven groups of professionals that I’ve never had contact with – and providing me no recourse if they get it wrong. The possibility of them getting it wrong is extremely high. I’m the best judge of my function and capacity; no one knows what I need more than I do. But you don’t even have to trust me – instead listen to the specialists who’ve known me my entire life and who understand my disability.

NDIS assessments: ombudsman warns against rushing changes

In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry which is examining what some call the biggest change to the scheme since it began, the ombudsman, Michael Manthorpe, did not comment on the merits of the policy itself. But, in a warning about the speed of the change, Manthorpe noted: “The breadth of changes being introduced in a relatively short timeframe may present a challenge for the [agency], its partners and for participants, carers, advocates and service providers.

Government response to the NDIS Planning Final Report,

The Government supports, or supports-in-principle, 26 of the recommendations made in the Committee’s report. Given the ongoing reforms to the planning process being progressed by the NDIA, the Government notes the Committee’s remaining 16 recommendations and provides information on the key initiatives underway and planned to address them.

NDIS needs reform but flawed assessment model requires more work

Michael* hasn’t showered or changed his clothes in three weeks, but when the National Disability Insurance Scheme independent assessor asked him how much difficulty he had washing his body, getting dressed and eating, he replied: “None.“