NDIS Quality and Safeguards boss to be granted stronger powers

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday June 9, 2020

Stuart Robert (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The bureaucrat charged with regulating National Disability Insurance Scheme providers will be granted expanded powers to better protect the scheme’s participants.

The NDIS Amendment (Strengthening Banning Orders) Bill 2020 would be introduced in Parliament this coming sitting. Under the new laws, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head would be able to ban unsuitable providers and workers from working with NDIS participants.

Head would be able to apply banning orders to people even if they are not currently working in the NDIS, according to NDIS minister Stuart Robert.

“This means workers who have left the NDIS, including where they have been fired due to unsuitable behaviour, can be banned from re-entering the field,” he said on Monday.

“The amendments also mean the NDIS Commissioner can use information from sources outside the NDIS, such as a person’s conduct in aged care or child care work, to ban an unsuitable person from entering the NDIS in the first place.”

The proposed measures follow the death of South Australian woman Ann Marie Smith, who had suffered from severe pressure sores and malnutrition after being left in a cane chair every day for more than a year.

The commission has been investigating the case.

Banning orders are currently only used by the NDIS commissioner in “the most serious of cases”, Robert noted.

The details of providers and workers who have been banned can be found in the NDIS Provider Register.

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