Anonymous – 08/10/2021
Thanks for the opportunity to have a quick look at the draft amendments and make some comments – I make them from the perspective of a parent who manages our daughter’s NDIS funding.
First off, it’s a relief to see that the amendments don’t do away with “reasonable and necessary supports” and don’t entrench independent assessments. Plus there are useful requirements to ensure prompt decision making, and it’s encouraging to see co-design emerging into the principles. In short the amendments don’t include the worst of “bad things” and include lots of “good things”, including an annual report from the Ombudsman.
Also good is the requirement to provide reasons for decision. Though a bit doleful that it’ll take an amending Bill to make sure that the NDIS adopts the principles of administrative law and decision-making that were codified 43 years ago in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977. Perhaps we could take a step into the 21st century by providing reasons for decision at the time of decision? That would ensure contemporaneous record keeping and timely access to information.
A not-so-good element is the proposed power to vary plans set out in proposed section 47A. It’s hard to see why this is necessary – I read the related proposed Rules and, unless I have misunderstood things, the changes amount to the CEO being able to amend a plan or plans of their own initiative. I could not easily find any restraint on this power, or any requirement for notice, consent or consultation. It might be good to have if a threat to life or the risk of serious injury is apparent – in which case, say so. As it stands, the power looks to be too broad for my liking.