Government Commits Millions to NDIS
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The Australian Government is earmarking an initial investment of $83.9 million to strengthen the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and ensure targeted financial assistance for participants in need. This funding will specifically support the Crack Down on Fraud program, aiming to enhance fraud-detection IT systems and protect the funds allocated for Australians with disabilities under the NDIS.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) intends to use the funding for diverse fraud-prevention IT initiatives, such as:

  1. Establishing a new fraud case management system that collaborates with enforcement agencies.
  2. Developing IT systems to streamline transactions with other agencies, providers, and banks, thereby reducing errors and processing times.
  3. Improving the efficiency of systems handling over 400,000 NDIS claims daily.
  4. Strengthening identity proofing systems to enhance safety and privacy.
  5. Enhancing the NDIS mobile app and online interfaces.

This comprehensive initiative, in conjunction with the Fraud Fusion Taskforce, aims to fortify the sustainability of the Scheme and ensure continued access to essential supports and services for legitimate participants. By addressing vulnerabilities identified since the Taskforce’s inception in November 2022, this funding aligns with the government’s commitment, as articulated by Minister for the NDIS Bill Shorten MP, to revitalize the NDIS and restore public trust in its ability to meet the present and future needs of participants.

“The Crack Down on Fraud program includes a number of ICT improvements that will be implemented progressively and are designed to make it easier to get it right, and harder to get it wrong for everyone engaging with the scheme” Minister Shorten said.

“This investment is not only about catching criminals who may target Australians living with disability, but also enhancing the systems we have in place to detect and prevent fraud and non-compliant activity.

“The Crack Down on Fraud program represents significant further progress in safeguarding the Scheme’s integrity, and will not only optimise NDIS resources, but will also ensure that honest participants who depend on the Scheme can be better supported into the future.”

The Government recognises that stakeholder collaboration lies at the heart of responsive policy, and will ensure the voices and perspectives of NDIS participants, their carers and families, and those in the disability sector inform the new program’s design.

“We have already started consulting with the disability community and will continue to do so, to ensure that participants are fully supported in transitioning to the improved systems”, Minister Shorten said.

“One of the key Independent NDIS Review observations was concerns around integrity of the scheme. This is a critical area of reform because it’s our fellow Australians with a disability who suffer most from any fraud and exploitation in the NDIS.”

The NDIS review recommended that the Australian Government invest in the underpinning digital infrastructure and capability needed to protect the integrity of the NDIS.

“This investment is another step in the right direction in protecting the Scheme’s integrity and sustainability, and ensuring the NDIS reaches its full potential,” Minister Shorten said.

To ensure all NDIS participants can understand the upcoming changes, the Government is developing accessible communication materials, including AUSLAN, Braille and Easy Read.

Original News Article:

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