NDIS architect claims ‘no excuse’ for Government staffing caps

NDIS architect claims ‘no excuse’ for Government staffing caps
Photo: SGENET, Pixabay

One of the architects responsible for the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) has said that there is “no excuse” for Government-imposed staffing caps that have been enacted on the agency operating the plan.

The Federal Government currently limits the number of staff that can be directly employed by the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) to roughly 2500 people. The cap has been blamed for forcing the agency to reply on hundreds of labour-hire staff and contractors.

The first chairman of the NDIA, Bruce Bonyhady, said that the staffing cap was nonsensical.

He also said that the NDIS computer system was not fit for its purpose ever since its first rollout in 2016.

He said that he was told “daily” about the issues that people were having when trying to access the system. He went on to say that the NDIS was meant to “enable people to transact quickly” and that “we’re just so far from that”.

Mr Bonyhady also revealed that the scheme’s funding had dropped with around $850 million less spent on it than was originally promised by the Government. He said that he anticipated actual spending would be under $1.5 billion less than what was promised in the budget.

He said that a portion of the money needed to be used to “fix the system”. He said that were was “no excuse” for the combination of staffing cap and lack of IT and tier two support that has been made available.

Graeme Innes, the former Disability Discrimination commissioner, said that it was essential not to allow the big ideas of the NDIS be foiled by bureaucratic issues. He said “let’s actually deliver” on the vision of the NDIS that was originally promised.