news A new report by ‘Big Four’ auditor PwC has levelled criticism at the Coalition Government over failures in the way it resourced the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and cast doubt on its ability to transition to full service.
PwC was engaged by the Department of Social Services as an independent reviewer following two months of technical issues with the service that meant very few people with disability have received support packages since the full rollout on 1 July.
In its examination of the key issues, the report concludes: “There is real risk that the NDIA operating model will not be able to cope with approximately 400,000 additional participants and their providers by 2019-20, when the Full Scheme is expected to be operating.”
The review was designed to determine whether the NDIA ICT system had been built according to the requirements set out for the transition and the full scheme.
PwC concluded that the ICT system had been built to the “agreed business case and government outcomes”.
The review also set out to identify any limitations in the ICT system and areas requiring further development.
“Although ICT system defects were identified that created gaps requiring further development, none of these defects prevented the implementation of the Minimum Viable Product,” the report states.
The third area looked at by PwC was the adequacy of the NDIA’s practices and business processes in implementing the ICT system. The firm examined communications and other aspects of support aimed to help participants and providers use the new system, including training of NDIA staff.
Further, it looked at the sufficiency of the NDIA’s response to the issues arising from deployment of the new ICT system.
“The NDIA has not implemented a comprehensive Service Delivery Operating Model,” PwC wrote. “This has impacted the successful execution of the Full Scheme Launch and put the existing organisational operating model under stress.”
While the NDIA was “effective at managing some of the risks leading up to the ICT implementation”, it was “less effective at managing the inherent risks of complexity, maturity and scale against a finite completion date”, the report concludes.
Since the publication of the report, Labor has hit out at the government’s resourcing of the scheme, saying its “mishandling of the situation is simply unacceptable” and is “putting at risk the successful rollout of the NDIS”.
“These problem must be fixed urgently,” the Opposition said.