What will The NDA Look Like Going Forward?

The National Disability Agreement was introduced by the Council of Australian Governments, and serves as a high-level agreement between the Australian and state and territory governments. Its purpose is for the provision of disability services.

The Productivity Report reviewing the National Disability Agreement was released in January 2019 and has the following recommendations for improvements;

  1. The Australian, State and Territory governments should develop and enter into a new National Disability Agreement (NDA) by the beginning of 2020.
    The new NDA should become the overarching agreement for disability policy in Australia. Its scope should be broad to capture all people with disability, their families and carers, and all services to people with disability, including mainstream services.
  2. To enshrine the cross-cutting nature of the National Disability Agreement (NDA), the obligations of governments under the NDA should be reflected in other National Agreements — and, where relevant, other Commonwealth–State agreements.
  3. The new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should be a ‘living document’ and make use of schedules to set out more detailed arrangements or operational matters, with the schedules amended as circumstances warrant.
  4. There should be a single set of outcomes across the National Disability Agreement (NDA) and the National Disability Strategy (NDS). As the overarching agreement, the outcomes should be outlined in the NDA. The new NDA should adopt the six outcome areas of the current NDS, with the addition of a seventh outcome for families and carers.
  5. In drafting the new National Disability Agreement (NDA), signatory governments should commit to a person-centred approach to disability policy, which seeks to recognise and address the rights, needs and aspirations of people with disability. The preliminaries of the new NDA should affirm this approach.
  6. The current objective of the National Disability Agreement (NDA) — that people with disability and their carers have an enhanced quality of life and participate as valued members of the community — is aspirational and broad enough to capture all elements of disability policy and should be reconfirmed in the new NDA.
  7. To enshrine the cross-cutting nature of the National Disability Agreement (NDA), the obligations of governments under the NDA should be reflected in other National Agreements — and, where relevant, other Commonwealth–State agreements.
  8. The NDA It should make clear that the Australian, State and Territory governments share responsibility for the NDIS, including a shared responsibility for stewardship of the NDIS market. Such responsibilities, as are set out in NDIS related instruments (such as Bilateral Agreements, NDIS Rules and the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cwlth)), should be referenced in the NDA.
  9. The new National Disability Agreement should clearly (and in detail) reflect the role of the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) program in supporting all people with disability, their families and carers.
  10. The new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should include a statement that affirms governments’ commitment to a shared responsibility for, and an agreed approach to, workforce development (noting that this requires coordination across the health, community services and aged-care sectors).
  11. The new National Disability Agreement should set out the responsibilities of the Australian, State and Territory governments to provide disability services outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme (noting that these could be provided through mainstream systems)
  12. The Australian, State and Territory governments should, through the COAG Disability Reform Council, undertake a comprehensive gap analysis, which involves identifying community needs and government objectives, and assessing these against the services that are available or planned
  13. The new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should include a statement that affirms governments’ commitment to clarifying what supports to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants are to be provided through mainstream service systems, and which are to be provided through the NDIS.
  14. The new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should assist with addressing barriers that people with disability face in accessing mainstream services.
  15. The new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should adopt a person-centred performance reporting framework that measures progress towards the outcomes of the new NDA. The Senior Officials Working Group of the COAG Disability Reform Council should develop a comprehensive set of performance indicators (and any associated targets) to measure progress against the outcomes of the revised NDA, based on transparent criteria for selecting performance indicators, and drawing on advice from policy and data experts, as well as people with disability.
  16. The new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should establish a clear strategy for the collection, funding, and reporting of data required for the Agreement’s performance reporting framework.
  17. The new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should include a commitment to undertake policy and program evaluation, in addition to its performance reporting requirements. Detailed arrangements for the policy evaluation program should be set out in a schedule to the NDA.
  18. Progress towards the outcomes of the new National Disability Agreement (NDA) should be publicly disseminated via a biennial National Disability Report, which the relevant Commonwealth Minister responsible for disability should table in the Australian Parliament.

For further information expanding the  recommendations, click here.

acia welcomes any feedback. Please send through to contact@acia.net.au or contact Lyn Franco on 0416196488.