10358 – Public Trustee and Guardian (ACT)


I am responding to a letter from Mr David Tune AO PSM, who has been appointed to undertake a review of the NDIS legislation.

The invitation was sent to the Chair of the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council (AGAC), of which all Public Trustees and Guardians are members seeking a possible workshop to discuss certain provisions of the NDIS legislation. Given the tight turnaround of the review I am providing a response to the review directly on behalf of the Public Trustee and Guardian for the ACT (PTG).

Whilst we do not seek to participate in a workshop, we make the following comments in the interests of the NDIS developing its Participant Guarantee.

1. After the lodgement of a NDIS client/participant change of circumstances application (eg from the last time the client’s NDIS plan was reviewed, the client now requires to enter supported accommodation), if responded to by NDIS (sometimes we don’t receive a response), it can take anywhere from 24 hrs to 1 month and almost always requires PTG to follow up to expedite.

2. ARF – Access Request Form is a NDIA form that is initially lodged for a client to request NDIS support. NDIS approval can take anywhere from 1 month to 6 months.

3. SIL – Supported Independent Living (services to be provided within a SIL/group home environment) – is not provided in any NDIS plans and instead is listed by NDIS as ‘SIL quote required’. PTG never receives SIL quotes (they are lodged directly to NDIA for approval), or an indication that the SIL quote has been approved. PTG is only made aware when we receive SIL agreements to consent to.

4. There was a significant period of time when NDIS would not talk to PTG claiming they do not have the authority to talk to us, despite PTG providing NDIS with the ACAT order under which PTG is authorised to act. This has now been settled with the addition of an ‘alert’ on NDIS system advising the person is a PTG client and therefore they have the authority to discuss any matters with us as participant’s guardian.

I trust the foregoing comments are useful in the context of the Review.

Further to my earlier response yesterday, can I please expand on one of the issues ?

PTG has had a number of instances where a participant of the NDIS receives an approved plan but the plan has not captured the discussed and agreed items from the review meeting.

For example, there may have been agreement for assistive technology (such as a wheelchair or other mobility aid) to be in the plan but this has then not been included.

It is my understanding that if a review of a plan is submitted within 90 days of a plan being approved, this is considered a reviewable decision because the application is to review the approved plan – ‘the decision’.
Where the application is made for a review outside of the reviewable decision timeframe, this is not considered a reviewable decision and is a plan review.

I trust this is useful…