Statement from NDIA Chairman, Bruce Bonyhady

Posted on 7 March 2016

The NDIS remains on budget and suggestions to the contrary are simply incorrect.

Statements attributed to Mr Tony Shephard today are not informed by the facts, while the comment from Ms Jennifer Westacott that we "must do the [the NDIS] properly now" displays an ignorance of what is already being done by the Board and Management of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The NDIA publicly releases open and transparent reports on the performance and sustainability of the Scheme quarterly, as well as an Annual Financial Sustainability Report and Annual Report.

The most recent of these reports, for the December 2015 quarter, shows that the overall costs of the Scheme are in line with the original Productivity Commission forecasts. Importantly for Australians with disability, the report also shows that more than 90 per cent of participants are satisfied with the NDIS.

To ensure the Scheme is fiscally sustainable, it has been developed as an insurance scheme, which draws heavily on the practices of commercial insurance companies.

The NDIA Board has voluntarily adopted risk management standards applied by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority to commercial insurers, as part of a commitment to best practice corporate governance.

Like other insurance schemes, the NDIS continually compares forecasts with experience as the Scheme is delivered around the country. Any divergences are carefully investigated, as part of a prudential insurance governance cycle, to control long-term costs and ensure the Scheme's sustainability.

Like any strong insurance scheme, or any strong business for that matter, the Scheme's performance data will continue to be monitored closely, emerging risks will be identified and remediation strategies will be implemented.

The most recent example of adjustments to the Scheme based on direct trial experience is the Agency's revised approach to early intervention, including autism and developmental delay.

The Board and Management are therefore being very vigilant, as part of a commitment to the NDIS being financially sustainable for Australia and delivering long-term economic benefits to our country.

To deliver this the NDIS will require a doubling of the existing market of services.

People with disability and their families are hoping that this will produce not just more but better and more innovative service responses, consistent with the vision for the NDIS to maximise independence and social and economic participation.

As business leaders would be well aware, the market will definitely not respond as needed while senior business leaders choose to remain uninformed and create uncertainty.

I have recently extended the offer to members of the business community to meet with me personally to be apprised of the facts and would encourage them to do so before commenting further.

NDIA media contact: 0477 703 960.