Inaugural NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner

The Turnbull Government has appointed the inaugural Commissioner to lead the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Social Services Minister, Christian Porter, today announced the appointment of Mr Graeme Head as Commissioner.

The Minister said that Mr Head would lead the Commission through a critical phase of its establishment. 

We congratulate Mr Head on his appointment and am very pleased that NDIS participants will now benefit from having a new independent Commissioner to oversee strengthened, nationally consistent and integrated quality and safeguards.

This is a very important time for the Commission, which will play a key role in ensuring the success of the NDIS. This new national regulator will focus on capacity building and development for both participants and providers, as well as hold compliance and enforcement powers.

NDIS participants have the right to be safe and to receive quality services from the providers and workers they choose to support them under the NDIS.

Mr Head brings significant skills and experience to the Commission, holding several senior public sector leadership roles at both state and federal levels. Since 2011, he has been leading the NSW Public Service Commission as its inaugural Commissioner.   He has also spent time as Director-General of the NSW Department of Commerce with responsibility for consumer protection policy and regulation.

At the federal level, Mr Head, while Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing, led the National Health Reform Transition Office, with responsibility for implementing the National Health Reform Agreement between the Australian and State/Territory Governments.

Mr Head’s impressive experience in transformational change management at sector and organisation level will be a great asset as the Commission works with the sector to ensure the rights of people with disability are upheld and that the services and supports provided through the NDIS are safe.

As a notable and respected leader, Mr Head has what it takes to quickly gain the confidence of the Australian, state and territory governments as well as the disability sector.

Mr Head will commence working with the Department of Social Services to establish the Commission until 1 July 2018, when he commences his three-year term as Commissioner.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission was announced in the 2017-18 Budget with an initial allocation of $209 million over four years and legislation to establish the Commission recently passed through Parliament.

Work to establish the Commission is being undertaken throughout 2017-18, with the Commission assuming its responsibilities as the NDIS reaches full scheme across Australia. The Commission will begin operations in New South Wales and South Australia in July 2018 and in the remaining states in July 2019, except Western Australia from July 2020.

Until the Commission’s powers come into effect in each jurisdiction, people with disability receiving NDIS supports and services continue to be protected by the existing state and territory quality and safeguards systems.

Biography

Mr Head is the inaugural NSW Public Service Commissioner and is soon to complete the second of his maximum of two years in that statutory position. His previous background includes several senior public sector leadership roles at both state and federal levels, including as Director-General of the NSW Department of Commerce with responsibility for consumer protection policy and regulation.

At the federal level, Mr Head, while Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing, led the National Health Reform Transition Office with responsibility for implementing the National Health Reform Agreement between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. His other high profile roles have included Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, Deputy Director-General of the NSW Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and CEO of the Sydney Catchment Authority.