08 April 2024

A taskforce endorsed by Minister for the NDIS Bill Shorten MP says it intends to crack down on unfair prices and the suspected overcharging of participants by dishonest services providers.

Chaired by the ACCC, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and the National Disability Insurance Agency, the taskforce will prevent dishonest service providers from charging more than they should for their services.

Talking to the ABC on the crackdown, Minister Shorten said it’s high time these providers were held to account.

“The era of ripping off people on the NDIS is over,” Minister Shorten said.The Criminal Intelligence Commission has warned that as much as a fifth of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) spending may be being rorted by exploitative providers.

The taskforce is investigating suspected illegal overcharging as well as misleading conduct, unfair contract terms, and anti-competitive agreements set by providers.

Julia Squire, Ability Options CEO, said, whilst in her experience most NDIS providers have high levels of integrity, all providers have the responsibility to offer high-quality and sustainable services for their participants and charge appropriately.

She added that providers should defend the integrity of the NDIS for the future of its participants, to ensure the sustainability of the Scheme, and the fair use of its funds.

“Participants deserve to be safe, cared for and be provided with the high-quality services they choose, while being financially stable and not exploited. I hope this taskforce lives up to its promise,” she said.

“If the Criminal Intelligence Commission is right, and up to 20 per cent of spend on the NDIS is fraudulent or overcharged, this is significant and needs addressing. It also means at least 80% of the spend is legitimate and we need to ensure that participants remain confident in these providers.”

Julia also highlights the increasing financial pressures that many providers in the sector are facing under the current NDIS pricing model, including that pricing is trailing behind the growing costs of service provision, causing real concern about sector sustainability.

However, she remains adamant that overcharging participants isn’t the way to combat this.

“No one should be overcharged for the services they choose,” she said, “Any person or provider that deliberately overcharges, misleads, or exploits participants should quite rightly be held to account for that conduct.”

NDIS participants have since received letters highlighting both their rights and how to fight back against those providers who have potentially overcharged or misled them.

For those providers that are found to be in breach of the law, potential penalties range from bans and infringement and compliance notices, to criminal sanctions if they’re found guilty of fraud.


Click here to read how to report suspicious behaviour to the NDIS on their website.

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