Federal Government announces independent review of NDIS

Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the independent review of NDIS on Friday afternoon. (ABC News: Adam Kennedy)

20 January 2017

Henry Belot, ABC News political reporter

The Federal Government has announced an independent review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to examine overall costs, value for money and its long-term sustainability.

Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the Productivity Commission review on Friday afternoon with a position paper to be released in May, followed by a report in September.

The review of the $22 billion scheme will consider funding arrangements with states and territories, cost pressures including wages, potential efficiencies and any impact on mainstream services.

The ABC understands the review was expected and consistent with the Heads of Agreement with the states and territories and the Commonwealth, but was brought forward with a broadening of terms.

A quarterly report from the NDIS issued late last year found the scheme was struggling to meet its enrolment targets.

Enrollment in the scheme may eventually be 35 per cent higher than initially expected in the ACT, raising concerns about a shortage of workers and rising costs.

The agency overseeing the scheme, the National Disability Insurance Agency, has called for greater power to control the costs of the scheme.

In late 2015, the Government was warned about a potential cost blowout in the scheme due to the increasing prevalence of autism, workforce and supply shortages and states’ shifting health costs.

Documents obtained by the ABC under Freedom of Information Laws showed the National Disability Insurance Agency had urged bureaucrats to remain vigilant about rising costs.

[Read the ABC article].

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