Decision-making controls for sustainability — National Disability Insurance Scheme Access

Disability Disability insurance Government expenditure National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Australia

The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness of controls being implemented and/or developed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to ensure that National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) access decisions are consistent with legislative and other requirements. To form a conclusion against the audit objective, the following high-level audit criteria were adopted:

  • Suitable information, training and guidance is available to support effective decision-making about access to the NDIS.
  • Suitable administrative systems and processes are in place to support transparent, accurate, timely and consistent assessment of NDIS eligibility.
  • Suitable quality and compliance arrangements have been established to mitigate the risk of incorrect NDIS access decisions.


The NDIA has implemented some controls to ensure that NDIS access decisions are consistent with legislative requirements, but these have been inconsistently applied. As at August 2017, the NDIA is developing an integrated assurance framework to enhance decision-making controls.

Accurate and accessible information is available for consumers and carers about how to access the NDIS. Suitable training and guidance is available to support access decision-making by NDIA officers and processing of access requests by Human Services’ staff.

Data integrity and reporting issues limit the NDIA’s ability to monitor training completion by access decision-makers. In addition, NDIA requirements for on-the-job training were not documented and the ANAO found limited evidence that these requirements were implemented.

The NDIA’s access processes supported the transition of a large volume of people into the NDIS in a short space of time. In practice, the ANAO observed legislative and administrative non-compliance that potentially affected the transparency, accuracy and timeliness of access decisions.

The access process was not well supported by the first stage of the NDIA’s ICT system, introduced in July 2016, requiring implementation of inefficient manual work-arounds. The NDIA advised the ANAO that new ICT workflow management functionality was implemented from July 2017.

The NDIA had not established efficient or effective processes for internally reviewing access decisions. New procedures introduced by the NDIA in May 2017, if implemented effectively, will provide an internal review process that is consistent with legislative requirements.

The NDIA has implemented executive monitoring and reporting of strategic and operational risks, including risks to Scheme financial sustainability, which is informed by actuarial analysis of Scheme outlays and risks.

Comprehensive quality and compliance arrangements have not been implemented to mitigate the risk of incorrect NDIS access decisions. These are currently in development as part of a broader integrated assurance framework.

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