A lack of knowledge among providers about what is required to register with NDIS Commission before 1 July 2019 has contributed to the government “underspend” revealed in the Budget, writes Nathan Temple.
The Federal Budget confirmed around $1.6 billion in funding reserved for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) had been left unspent, and that no further funding will be allocated to the NDIS rollout in 2019-20.
The slower-than-expected uptake of disability service providers registering with the NDIS is not due to lower demand, but difficulties in providers learning the registration process.
As a risk management and auditing organisation, we have audited more than 200 providers looking to meet their NDIS obligations since 1 July 2018, with many more conducted to other State and Federal standards over the past 16 years.
However, since the new audit requirements commenced in South Australia and NSW last year, more than 100 providers have been unaware of their requirements for NDIS compliance.
The lack of knowledge among providers about what is required to register with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) before 1 July 2019 has been challenging for many, and is a major issue that has led to the government “underspend”.
Plenty of information is available – but the challenge for providers looking for registration this July has been keeping up with the regulatory changes alongside running their operations.
Many have had to make improvements to their internal systems and documentation to obtain NDIS approval. A number of providers are also looking to ‘purchase systems’ but don’t realise they need to have suitable implemented systems that suit the scale and size of their organisation.
Despite the recent $850 million injection into the NDIS – which is designed to increase price limits for therapy, physiotherapy, attendant care and community participation in the scheme, effective from 1 July 2019 – more still needs to be done to encourage the transition of participants into the NDIS.
Nathan Temple is the National Human Services Programme Manager for SAI Global Assurance.