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The NDIS provides funding to eligible participants so they can access disability supports and services. The Scheme commenced in July 2013 with a three year trial phase before being progressively rolled out to each state and territory over a four year transition phase from 1 July 2016. 2020–21 is the Scheme’s first year of full operation, with the NDIA transitioning to full scheme on 1 July 2020. When fully implemented, the Scheme is expected to benefit around 500,000 Australians.

Participants receive funding for supports — assistance or products that help a person in their daily life and help them to participate in the community and reach their goals — from the NDIA through the provision of a participant plan. The requirements for plans are outlined in section 33 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act). A key component of a plan, the statement of participant supports, which is prepared with the participant and approved by the NDIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) specifies, among other things, any reasonable and necessary supports that will be funded under the NDIS. In making a decision over the funding for reasonable and necessary supports, the CEO must be satisfied of six criteria outlined in subsection 34(1) of the NDIS Act.

The audit objective was to assess whether the NDIA has appropriate controls to ensure supports in participant plans are 'reasonable and necessary.'

Main findings:

  • The NDIA does not yet have appropriate controls to ensure supports in participant plans are reasonable and necessary. While an appropriate control framework had been established, the effective implementation of the controls will provide the NDIA with greater assurance that the supports approved in participant plans are reasonable and necessary. Effective implementation of controls will further assist the NDIA to manage risks relating to Scheme sustainability, while ensuring participants are receiving adequate supports.
  • While the NDIA had established largely appropriate policies and processes for participant planning, the implementation of the policies and processes did not provide the NDIA with appropriate assurance that supports in participant plans are reasonable and necessary.
Publication Details
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Auditor-General Report No.14 2020–21