Statement by AFDO, people with disability and family organisations – NDIS Board must be independent and protect the interests of people with disability and their families.
Today the Federal Government has placed an advertisement in newspapers calling for nominations for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Board.
There is currently no more important government appointed role for people with disability and their families than the NDIA Board.
The NDIA Board is responsible for safeguarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and ensuring that it is delivered on time and on budget.
To date the NDIA Board has done exactly that. The scheme is on time, on budget and achieving a high level of client satisfaction.
The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), and people with disability and family organisations are extremely concerned that the proposed process and timeline to appoint a new Board will undermine the continued good governance of the NDIS.
The current Board has demonstrated a deep understanding of the Scheme and its sustainability. Experience of disability is critical to the good governance and success of the Scheme. Two members of the current Board are people with disability and a further four members have family members who have a disability.
If the Government is now seeking to make substantial changes to the Board by primarily seeking non-executive directors with big company experience, there is a significant risk to the future success of the NDIS.
People with disability and their families are concerned with this development in particular the lack of consultation with our organisations.
‘Stability is so important to the NDIS, constant chopping and changing is counter-productive to a good scheme’, said Mr Matthew Wright, CEO of AFDO.
‘It’s also of great concern that the advertisement in today’s Financial Review places no importance on the personal experience of having a disability or being a family member. You cannot have an effective NDIS without valuing the experience of the people for which the NDIS is designed’, said Mr Wright.
We urge the Government to come back to consult with people with disability and family organisations to ensure that the principles that Australians signed up to are upheld.
Please direct all enquiries to AFDO CEO, Mr Matthew Wright on 0428 608 861.