NDIS Commission commences legal action against Integrity Care
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Integrity Care (SA) Ltd (Integrity Care), in relation to the death of Ms Ann-Marie Smith.
The NDIS Commission is the national regulator of supports and services provided to people with disability who participate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS Commission has strong regulatory and compliance powers under Commonwealth law where suspected breaches of a provider’s obligations under the NDIS Act, including the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards, are identified. These powers include seeking civil penalties when a provider has failed to deliver supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill, has failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to the neglect and abuse of people with disability, has failed to ensure the dignity of people with disability, and has failed to ensure a safe environment existed for people with disability.
Ms Smith, who was an NDIS participant, died on 6 April 2020 in appalling circumstances whilst receiving supports and services from Integrity Care.
This matter has been the subject of an extensive and ongoing investigation by the NDIS Commission. After being notified of Ms Smith’s death, the NDIS Commission moved decisively to take action against Integrity Care - fining the provider, revoking its registration and banning it from operating in the NDIS. The NDIS Commission has also banned Ms Amy Collins, a Director of Integrity Care, along with Ms Smith’s support worker, Ms Rosa Maione.
This is the second civil penalty proceeding commenced by the NDIS Commission. A copy of the originating application filed in the Federal Court is attached to this statement.
“The death of Ms Smith is tragic and continues to shock and sadden many people across Australia,” said Ms Tracy Mackey, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner. “NDIS providers have very clear obligations and we will take action when providers do not meet those obligations.”
The proceeding will be listed for case management on a date to be determined by the Court.
There is also an easy read version of this media statement.