Legislation has been introduced to federal parliament to establish an independent body to review the administration and regulation of Australia’s aged care system.
The Inspector-General of Aged Care Bill aims to “further drive transparency and accountability across the aged care sector,” says a statement from the office of Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells.
By introducing the bill, the Albanese Government addresses recommendation 12 of the aged care royal commission – which called for the establishment of an interim and statutory Inspector-General of Aged Care.
Former Council of the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates commenced the role of Interim Inspector-General of Aged Care in January. The Inspector-General is expected to be appointed in the second half of 2023, pending the passage of the legislation.
The bill will give the Inspector-General powers to investigate systemic issues across the aged care sector – including complaints management processes.
Operating autonomously, the Inspector-General will report findings and present recommendations to government, parliament and to the public. They will also report on the government’s implementation of the recommendations of the royal commission.
In a tweet, Ms Wells said the bill “will shine a light on uncomfortable, systemic issues and investigate their root cause.”
Meanwhile, Ian Yates – in a previous interview with Australian Ageing Agenda – said he and the Office of the Interim Inspector-General of Aged Care are currently setting up the future independent body and modelling its functions ahead of its launch.
“We’d like to get the permanent office established at the earliest opportunity consistent with the proper parliamentary and government processes,” Mr Yates told AAA.
“Getting that done smoothly and on time in the year is important, but we’d also like to begin to demonstrate the potential of the office, both in terms of reporting and initiating reviews and getting the conversation happening about key systemic changes that will produce a better aged care system.”