New multi-million dollar technology protecting the NDIS

The Albanese Government is further protecting National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants by investing $160 million in a technology system.

In this month’s federal budget the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission received an historic IT budget allocation of $160m over four years for the Data and Regulatory Transformation (DART) Program to ensure the NDIS Commission has the critical technology systems required to gather intelligence, and collect and analyse data to protect both participants and the Scheme itself.

The NDIS Commission has started its IT transformation in its Contact Centre where it has recently upgraded its telephony system. Under the old legacy system there was no ability to triage calls, people were cut off after 7 minutes and only 40 per cent of inbound call were answered. Under the new system, all calls are triaged and all safeguarding matters are prioritised for immediate handling.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services Bill Shorten MP said the safety of NDIS Participants is paramount.

“We must ensure the NDIS Commission has the right tools to reduce any risk to participant wellbeing. It is critical anyone needing assistance gets through to the right people in the Commission straight away.”

A special team stood up by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has responded to more than 2,000 urgent safeguarding matters for people with disability since it began operating in December 2022.

The NDIS Commission’s Safeguarding Team was established to respond to situations where persons with disability are at immediate risk of abuse, neglect, assault, homelessness, loss of supports and services or other harm.

The Safeguarding Team worked closely with a wide range of agencies, including the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), hospitals and state and federal police, to ensure the safety of NDIS participants in times of crisis.

“Some of the great outcomes from the Safeguarding Team include locating missing persons, finding emergency accommodation, reviewing guardianship arrangements, navigating relationship conflicts and educating providers and workers where professional boundaries are being crossed,” Minister Shorten said.

“The team troubleshoots complex problems that come to our attention via our complaints function, reportable incidents and other agencies, and wherever possible, make sure that the person with disability who is in crisis has choice and control over the solution, without coercion by any third parties.

“Some of these matters have been resolved very quickly with minimal intervention by our team, while others are much more complex and focus on removing the immediate risks, while making referrals for further investigation.”

With the new systems that will be developed under DART, the NDIS Commission will be better placed to make more informed, efficient, and effective decisions based on risk, harm, trends and patterns.

The DART investment will deliver the sorts of reforms enjoyed by our call centre to our complaints process. It will enable is to join the dots between multiple complaints and investigations and coordinate efforts the NDIA.

DART is central to deliver an NDIS regulator that makes decisions based on risk underpinned by intelligence.

DART will also streamline the process of Provider Registration and allow system-wide checks for suitability.

Finally, DART will deliver a single view of a participant and a single view of a provider.

With this new investment, the activities of the NDIS Commission will be driven by data so we can reduce the risk of events that require safeguarding in the first place.

And our workforce at the Commission can get on with their important job, spending less time on manual administration and more time keeping people safe.