States to Work Together After NDIS Rollout ‘Stress’
3 September 2016 at 12:16 pm
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council (DRC) has agreed to work more closely with the National Disability Insurance Agency after a report found significant managerial issues in the first two months of the NDIS scheme since 1 July.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter released the independent review by PwC into the implementation of the MyPlace portal, after discussing the report and its recommendations with state and territory leaders in Sydney on Friday.
The report said: “The NDIA has not implemented a comprehensive Service Delivery Operating Model (SDOM). This has impacted the successful execution of the full scheme launch and put the existing organisational operating model under stress.
“Stakeholder engagement, training and preparedness were insufficient, and necessary training materials were not finalised for staff and providers by 29 June 2016.
“It is important to understand that the root cause of payment failure was not a single catastrophic event, but rather a series of compounding issues which prevented a viable option to delay ICT implementation.
“The full scheme ICT implementation ran out of time to fully complete the required implementation activities and proceeded with the acceptance of the identified implementation risks with the intention of applying maximum response to the problems.
“However, the change effort and overall program was underresourced and underprepared in order to provide the accurate and timely support required by participants and providers when faced with ICT challenges.”
However earlier this week the minister said the IT debacle around the NDIS launch was due to a short term glitch.
He said at the time initial advice from PwC revealed a short-lived technical issue experienced by bulk service providers and an issue around “the adequacy of information” provided to users of the MyPlace payment portal led to errors in inputting necessary information.
He said the situation was improving “rapidly and significantly” but there had been a flow on effect.
However on Friday Porter said he had discussed the findings with his state and territory colleagues, and the governments will be working closely with the NDIA to help the agency set up the required systems so they don’t encounter similar problems in other areas of the rollout.
“The review shows there was no single system failure – rather, the frustrating ICT issues arose from a series of compounding events, linked to deficiencies in the NDIA’s governance, operations, change management and communication,” Porter said.
“As at 31 August, more than 15,000 people had been deemed eligible for the scheme since 1 July 2016, with more than 4,000 people in the planning process and more than 1,600 people with approved plans.”
Porter said the agreement [with COAG] for a new national framework for future quality and safeguards was of particular significance and would ensure that people with disability, their families and carers can be assured of a safe and high standard of service delivery.
“This framework has been two and a half years in development, so agreement in its final form is a very significant and positive step forward for the NDIS,” Porter said.
“The NDIS is a large and complex reform, and I don’t think that anyone should underestimate the importance of what the NDIA has delivered so far, or the scale of task ahead of it during transition.”
Assistant Minister for Disability Services Jane Prentice said the recommendations of the report focused on continual quality improvements at the NDIA.
“This will embed their service delivery operating model and build their capability to successfully manage change,” Prentice said.
“The impact and scale of recent issues was unacceptable for NDIS participants, their families, carers and providers.
“Governments will support the NDIA through a process of continual improvement, to build systematic approaches to managing change and guiding people through new processes.”