New NDIA CEO is revealed
17 October 2019 at 3:21 pm
The NDIA has appointed a new CEO, 170 days on from Robert De Luca’s shock departure from the role.
The Morrison government has unveiled Martin Hoffman as the new CEO of the National Disability Insurance Agency.
Hoffman is a former senior New South Wales bureaucrat who has held service delivery leadership roles across both the public and private sectors.
NDIS Minister Stuart Robert said Hoffman had the “dedication, vision, and expertise” to lead the disability scheme.
“He will build on the ground-breaking work already underway and will make a real difference in delivering on the government’s commitment to realising the full benefits of the scheme for participants,” Robert said.
Hoffman was previously head of the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, with responsibility for organisations including Service NSW, NSW Fair Trading and SafeWork NSW.
He also was recently appointed by Minister Robert to lead the transformation of the Department of Human Services into Services Australia.
Hoffman said he was thrilled to start his new role on 4 November.
“I am tremendously honoured to have the opportunity to work with participants, the staff and partners of the NDIA, providers and the disability sector to deliver on the promise of the NDIS for each participant,” Hoffman said.
Dr Helen Nugent AO, the chair of the NDIA, said Hoffman would inspire staff and improve the underlying processes and technology underpinning the scheme.
“The board has appointed a leader who is deeply skilled, who is committed to people with disability and their families, who understands the importance of improving social and economic outcomes for participants, and who has the expertise to further lift the quality of the participant experience,” Nugent said.
The NDIA had been without a permanent CEO since former boss Robert De Luca quit to become the head of Zenitas Healthcare in late April.
The delay in appointing a new leader was criticised by Labor’s NDIS spokesperson Bill Shorten, who said in September people with disability were being “treated with contempt” by the Morrison government.
Following Hoffman’s appointment, Shorten said people with disability will want to know whether the new CEO has any lived experience of disability.
He added that it remained unclear whether Hoffman will base himself at the NDIA headquarters in Geelong.
Also on Thursday, the Morrison government announced the NDIA will employ an extra 800 public service staff to help people access their NDIS plans faster.
Shorten welcomed this, but said lifting the total staffing cap to 4,000 was not enough to support the needs of people with disability.
“The NDIA originally estimated its staffing levels would be 10,595 staff by 2018-2019 but instead a low cap still exists while the bill to the taxpayer for consultants and contractors has ballooned from $70 million in 2016 to $430 million in 2018,” Shorten said.
“This is [a] classic Liberal technique: finally admit there is a problem but then only apply a band aid to the gaping wound.”