The Final Report of the Independent Review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was released in December 2023.

On October 18, 2022, The Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, commissioned a review to assess the design, operations, and sustainability of the NDIS. The aim was to explore avenues for enhancing the market and workforce to create a more adaptive, supportive, and enduring framework.

Amid the economic difficulties stemming from the global Covid pandemic, the federal government encountered increasing demands to tackle the well-documented disparities within the existing NDIS system. Additionally, there was a pressing need to devise a swift strategy to manage the scheme’s considerable cost escalation, which had been capped at 8% by 2026 as recently decided by the national cabinet.

The NDIS is anticipated to surpass $50 billion in this year’s federal budget, with forecasts indicating a potential escalation to over $90 billion annually within the next decade.

The 338-page report presents a sobering assessment, outlining 26 recommendations and 139 actions aimed at addressing the challenges within the NDIS. Crucially, the NDIS Review Panel emphasizes that these recommendations should be viewed as a cohesive set of reforms, working in concert to bring about systemic change over a targeted 5-year transition period.

While disability advocates and industry bodies express cautious optimism regarding the potential of these recommendations to address the deficiencies in the current NDIS system, they acknowledge the fundamental importance of rebuilding trust, which has been diminished by years of neglect.


The Final Report has now been handed over to the Department of Social Services to review the recommendations and determine the next steps.

The recommendations and actions outlined in the report are intricately detailed and categorized into four interlinked parts, aiming to bring about the anticipated level of change as envisioned by the Review Panel.

At a high level, “Part One: Develop a unified system of support for people with disability” focuses on the formulation of policies, processes, and governance structures aimed at rectifying existing inequalities. It also aims to establish new services, supports, and improved pathways for individuals with disabilities to access the assistance they require.

“Part Three” delves into the responsibilities and actions of various government agencies and organizations concerning the stewardship of the unified ecosystem envisioned by the report.

Lastly, “Part Four” identifies the key recommendations and actions necessary to implement a comprehensive five-year transition plan from the current NDIS scheme to the envisioned framework.

What is striking in “Part Three: Markets and support systems that empower people with disability” is the central role of technology in strengthening the functioning and integrity of the NDIS.

In this section, there is a notable emphasis on enhancing service quality and ensuring the protection of people with disabilities by instituting more robust regulations for service providers and related institutions. Central to these efforts is “Recommendation 10: Invest in digital infrastructure for the NDIS to enable accessible, timely, and reliable information, as well as streamlined processes that bolster NDIS market functioning and scheme integrity.”

Certainly, “Recommendation 10: Invest in digital infrastructure for the NDIS to enable accessible, timely, and reliable information and streamlined processes that strengthen NDIS market functioning and scheme integrity” entails six key actions:

Action 10.1: The Australian Government should develop and finance an easy-to-use centralized online platform providing information on all locally available supports and services for participants and Navigators.

Action 10.2: The National Disability Insurance Agency and the new National Disability Supports Quality and Safeguards Commission should facilitate improved two-way information sharing with third-party online platforms to foster digital innovation that builds upon the centralized online platform.

Action 10.3: The National Disability Insurance Agency should transition to fully electronic payments and enhance the visibility of NDIS payments.

Action 10.4: The Australian Government should allocate resources to invest in the foundational digital infrastructure and capabilities necessary to safeguard the integrity of the NDIS.

Action 10.5: The Australian Government should devise and implement a clear transition pathway for existing Plan Managers.

Action 10.6: The Australian Government should formulate and implement an NDIS digital transformation strategy and roadmap to coordinate and sequence all initiatives within the NDIS digital landscape.


As Australia embarks on the journey of implementing the recommendations outlined in the Final Report of the Independent Review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), there is a tangible sense of hope for the future of disability care. With a concerted emphasis on leveraging technology and nurturing collaboration among stakeholders, these initiatives hold the potential to not only rectify the deficiencies of the current NDIS system but also pave the path towards a more inclusive, efficient, and person-centric approach to disability support.

In the weeks ahead, We will delve deeper into the challenges encountered by the government in executing these recommendations, while also shedding light on the invaluable contributions of technology partners and organizations in shaping a more equitable and compassionate future for disability care in Australia.

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