Executive Summary

The Scheme is growing at a very rapid pace. The NDIA is under enormous pressure to meet its participant intake targets. At 30 September 2018, over 208 000 participants were receiving support, meeting 76 percent of the bilateral estimate for the entirety of the Scheme. By 2020, it is estimated that 460 000 participants will have joined the Scheme. The efforts and resources required to enrol over 250 000 participants in less than 18 months cannot be underestimated.

Having robust and fit-for-purpose ICT systems can greatly assist the NDIA in meeting its operational targets and delivering quality outcomes for participants. Good ICT systems have potential to release the pressure of other aspects of the Scheme. Efficient ICT systems can reduce the need for participants and service providers to seek support directly from the NDIA, planners and LACs. ICT systems can also facilitate the growth the market. Importantly, ICT systems must also support in an effective way the NDIA internal operations to ensure consistency of decisions and advice across the Agency.

The committee received evidence that the NDIS ICT systems need to be significantly improved.  Participants and service providers were critical of the NDIS website and the NDIS Contact Centre as they continue to struggle finding adequate information or having their queries answered in a satisfactory and timely manner. Submitters also raised issues about the MyPlace participant and provider portals' functionality and capabilities. It is resulting in unnecessary delays, duplication of efforts, and additional administrative burden for the NDIA, LACs, service providers and participants.

It is imperative that the issues raised by submitters are swiftly addressed by the NDIA to ensure improved outcomes for participants and assist with the long-term sustainability of the Scheme.

Importantly, the committee is of the view that the NDIA must engage with stakeholders to design and enhance all aspects of the ICT services that underpin the NDIS service delivery model. It is clear that a lot of administrative burden and additional transaction costs would have been avoided if the NDIA had initially collaborated with end-users to design and improve the website and the portals.

The committee thanks the individuals and organisations that participated in this inquiry.  The committee has made six recommendations, which aim to ensure that the NDIS ICT systems are fit-for-purpose and adequately support the NDIA's operations.

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