Inaugural NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Appointed
18 December 2017 at 5:35 pm
The Turnbull government has appointed an inaugural commissioner to lead the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission.
The Minister for Social Services Christian Porter, announced Graeme Head as the commissioner on Monday.
Head is the inaugural NSW Public Service Commissioner and has held several senior public sector leadership roles at both state and federal levels, including as director-general of the NSW Department of Commerce and deputy secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
In a joint statement, Porter and the Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice, said Head would lead the commission through a critical phase of its establishment.
“We congratulate Mr Head on his appointment and are very pleased that NDIS participants will now benefit from having a new independent commissioner to oversee strengthened, nationally consistent and integrated quality and safeguards,” the said.
“This is a very important time for the commission, which will play a key role in ensuring the success of the NDIS. This new national regulator will focus on capacity building and development for both participants and providers, as well as hold compliance and enforcement powers.
“NDIS participants have the right to be safe and to receive quality services from the providers and workers they choose to support them under the NDIS.”
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission was announced in the 2017-18 federal budget with an initial allocation of $209 million over four years.
Legislation to establish the commission recently passed through Parliament and it will begin operations in New South Wales and South Australia in July 2018 and in the other states in July 2019, except for Western Australia which starts July 2020.
Until the commission commences operations in each jurisdiction, NDIS participants will continue to be protected by existing state and territory quality and safeguards systems.
Porter and Prentice said Head was the perfect candidate to lead the commission.
“Mr Head’s impressive experience in transformational change management at sector and organisation level will be a great asset as the commission works with the sector to ensure the rights of people with disability are upheld and that the services and supports provided through the NDIS are safe,” they said.
“As a notable and respected leader, Mr Head has what it takes to quickly gain the confidence of the Australian, state and territory governments as well as the disability sector.”
Head will commence working with the Department of Social Services to establish the commission until 1 July 2018, when his three-year term as commissioner begins.