Independent Expert Review Oversight Committee communique – November 2022

The Oversight Committee met on 7, 14, 21 and 28 October 2022. 

Key matters considered at these meetings were:

Terms of Reference

Draft Terms of Reference were provided to the Committee, which had been developed based on extensive engagement with disability advocates prior to establishment of the Committee.
Key features of the functions of the Committee set out in the Terms of Reference include oversight of:

  • selection and terms of engagement of Independent Experts including independence and training on disability and the NDIS Act  
  • the process and procedure of the IER program including method of independent expert review and ensuring communication with the community at large 
  • support available to ensure participants can effectively take part
  • the criteria for selection of matters referred 
  • publication of the de-identified outcomes 
  • surveys of participants and all other parties involved
  • complaints regarding the IER program.

The Chair noted that the Terms of Reference could be adapted in future as needed to achieve the objectives of the IER program. 

The Committee has endorsed the Terms of Reference. 

Independent Experts appointed

The Committee endorsed the appointment of Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, Natalie Wade and Marg O’Donnell AO, as Independent Experts for Phase 1 of the IER program. All three were recommended by disability advocacy organisations and are highly regarded across the sector for their skills, qualifications and experience including their knowledge and understanding of the NDIS or issues affecting people with disability.

The Committee endorsed the selection criteria for the appointment of Independent Experts as follows:

Essential skills and experience

  • 3+ years contemporary involvement with the disability sector, preferably with the NDIS (which may include lived experience or other personal experience, service provider, academic or advocate) 
  • Professional experience as a tribunal member, judicial member, lawyer, advocate, allied health worker, or in neutral evaluation, mediation, arbitration, or other demonstrably relevant professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and apply legislation to inform written evidence-based decision making or recommendations 

Essential personal attributes to conduct IERs:

  • Highly developed interpersonal skills
  • Good character including having empathy and preferably knowledge or qualifications in trauma informed practice to ensure harm minimisation
  • Ability to act with impartiality and fairness – where a candidate has worked for NDIA or acts professionally for the NDIA as an advocate or independent medical expert, candidate must state % of practice representing NDIA, or number of years employed by NDIA
  • Positive contemporary attitude to disability

Candidates must be willing to:

  • Adhere to the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and Values
  • Work under the Agency’s ethical framework and cultural principles, including a commitment to building a positive, participant-centered culture.

IER program status

The Committee is engaged with the Agency in the qualitative and quantitative data being collected from the IER program including through statistical data collection, surveys and feedback.

IER meeting bulletin November 2022