The recent COAG meeting failed to reach broad agreement from all states and territory leaders on the funding arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The question is, “What funding arrangements?”
The Productivity Commission recommended no state involvement in the NDIS. This was as a direct result of the basic reason for the NDIS - that the states had made, and were making such a mess of the provision of services for people with a disability and their families.
The Commission also recommended that NDIS services should have an ISP funding format – money in the pocket of, and control of consumers. Not in the pocket of, or under the control of service providers or state governments.
In Victoria, at least, the reason is clear to see. The Department of Human Services can’t even get its own very limited ISP process to be consistent across its regions or within its staff.
If the DHS are in anyway involved in the NDIS, services will be just more of the same we have now. What the Productivity Commission described as, “underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient, and gives people with a disability little choice and no certainty of access to appropriate supports”.
State governments should be totally removed from providing or being responsible for the provision of services for people with a disability and their families.
The states should hand over all their existing services and associated funding to the federal government’s NDIA.
The NDIA would then be responsible for all services. Services provided only by non government service providers – community service organisations funded by NDIS ISPs paid directly to consumers – people with a disability and their families.
Sight should not be lost of the original intention of the NDIS, that of, (a) reducing/eliminating the waiting list for services and, (b) making services a right, an entitlement, rather than the present charity handout where people with a disability and their families are made to feel guilty for daring to ask for, or question services.
Reduction of the waiting list can only be achieved by eliminating the present bureaucratic waste by state government direct services and their bungling, bureaucratic and despotic control of CSOs, as well as additional funding from the federal government.
Entitlement to services can only be achieved by removing the present ‘service provision captive market’ where consumers are often treated as undesirables, towards ‘market place services’ where consumers are the centre of service provision – valued customers.