Tracy Mackey Commissioner Transcript

Hi Everyone, I’m coming to you today from Parramatta, so I’m on the land of the Burramattagal people and I’d like to pay my respects to the Dharug traditional land holders, past, present and emerging. I’m Tracy Mackey, I'm the Commissioner at the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. If you're a participant in the NDIS we want to make sure that your safe and quality services are delivered to you. We want to think about what your rights are as a participant in the scheme and make sure that services and supports are delivered consistent with those rights in a real quality way. What's really important about the work that we do in the Commission is keeping people with disabilities at the centre of everything we do, how we do it and all the decisions that we make. As Commissioner I'm responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NDIS Commission as an organisation, but more importantly I have a number of powers and authorities that are through the legislation and the quality and safeguards framework, so whether or not you're receiving any type of support you're able to come to us, let us know what's happening and we can follow up and it certainly puts a framework around how providers operate, so it keeps people safe. The NDIS Commission exists for a number of reasons first and foremost to ensure that the right safeguards are in place, second of all to make sure that particularly over time the quality of services and supports improves so what we've started doing is regulating in a nationally consistent way. It's a new way of operating for service providers previously the disability sector had a range of different funding arrangements and wasn't regulated in the same way. We're still learning and growing as a regulator and we look forward to talking to both people with disabilities and providers over the coming months to think about how we evolve as a regulator in the NDIS space. Anyone can make a complaint to the NDIS Commission, you can be a person who's a participant in the scheme, you can be a parent, a carer, anyone is able to make a complaint and the reason why we encourage you to make complaints is because then we can follow up and help improve and make sure that services are delivered in the best possible way. We also have a range of other functions. If you're a provider in the scheme there is a pathway to become registered and part of that registration process helps you to really focus on quality in your organisation. There's three priorities that we have on an ongoing basis the first is that we want to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities as consumers are front and center in everything that we do and across the NDIS as a scheme, second we want to make sure that all of the right safeguards are in place so that any participant receiving a service or support can absolutely expect to feel safe and their well-being is at the centre of those supports and services and third we want to improve the quality of those services and supports. That's going to take some time, it means we have to think about what we're doing and not just deliver what we've always done across the disability sector. As a regulator we work to a range of legislation and rules, they're there so everyone's clear on how we're regulating and what we're regulating against. It can be complex,  we understand that but we're here to work with you so we want to work in partnership with providers so that you understand your requirements and we're really open to feedback about what else we can do to help you unpack and understand what those requirements are. Part of the benefit of establishing the Commission was that so we had a national approach to compliance and regulation so in terms of how we apply the rules to any provider, that's something that's consistent across the country but we're also really cognisant that each time we make a decision it's about a particular circumstance, a particular participant or set of participants so we really need to make sure that it's aligned with what those circumstances and arrangements are. We're very committed to making sure that we work with providers no matter what we're doing. We have a range of formal processes for working with providers including our industry consultative committee, but we're also opening up many other lines of communication and engagement with the disability sector. As Commissioner I'd like to thank everyone for their support and input that's been had as we've developed up as a new regulator in the NDIS space. To participants, stakeholders, the sector, we want to keep working with you, we want to make sure that we deliver on those three intents. The best way we can do this is by working together to really make sure that the NDIS is the best it can possibly be.