When NDIA Compliance Response Team comes Knocking
If you’re a home care provider, a nurse or therapist, or an attorney, you may be familiar with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIA is Australia’s primary disability service provider. It was formed in 2012 and replaced several agencies that were previously responsible for disability support services. The NDIA Compliance Response Team (CRT) is an arm of the agency that monitors your business to ensure compliance with its rules and regulations. If CRT comes knocking at your door here is the information you need to know.
The NDIA Compliance Response Team (CRT) is a group of people who work for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). They are tasked with enforcing compliance with their policies and processes. If you don’t comply, they will come after you! What can they do to me? If they think that someone isn’t following their rules or procedures, they can:
- Give them a warning letter explaining what was wrong and how to fix it.
- Issue fines ranging from $500-$2000 per breach
- Suspend payments for services if necessary, which means no money for your service provider until things get back on track.
The NDIA compliance framework is a set of rules and procedures that providers must follow to ensure they are meeting their obligations under the NDIS.
Providers need to understand their obligations under this framework, as it can impact how much funding they receive from the NDIA as well as how much money they need to spend on things like staff training and equipment purchases.
The NDIA Compliance Response Team is a team of compliance officers who investigate complaints about the NDIS and its service providers, as well as complaints about NDIA staff members and participants.
Complaints received by the NDIA are reviewed by our compliance officers to determine whether they can be resolved informally through mediation or conciliation, or whether they need to be investigated further. If necessary, we may refer certain matters to an external investigation agency such as the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
What kind of information should you be looking for when the NDIA Compliance Response Team comes knocking?
The first thing you should do when the NDIA Compliance Response Team comes knocking is read up on their website. You can find out what they’re looking for, what kind of information they need and how to prepare yourself.
You must know your rights as a participant in the NDIA scheme, so make sure you have lots of time on your hands when reading through this information!
If you receive a visit from the NDIA Compliance Response Team, it’s important to know that you have rights. These include:
- The right to remain silent.
- The right to legal advice (and, if necessary, an interpreter).
- The right to have a support person present during the interview and/or recording session.
- The ability to make notes about what happens during the visit and/or recording session.
If NDIA receives a complaint about your services, it will usually send you a notice. You should also be aware that other parties may receive notices as well:
- The person who made the complaint (or their representative).
- Your state or territory regulator.
- The Ombudsman (if applicable).
A contact letter is a notice from the NDIA informing you that they have received a complaint about your service.
If you receive a contact letter, it’s important to respond quickly and thoroughly. The NDIA will give you 30 days to provide them with all of the information they need to investigate your case. If you don’t respond within this timeframe, they may take action against your organization without further notice or warning!
There are three different types of complaints:
- complaints about poor quality or unsafe services
- complaints involving discrimination
- complaints related to other issues such as privacy breaches or misleading advertising practices (these last two types fall under “other matters”).
The most common type of complaint involves allegations that an NDIA participant has not been provided with adequate access or support in their community due to a lack of funding being allocated by state governments towards early childhood services such as preschools or kindergarten classes offered by local schools.
If you are audited, there are a few things that you can do to help your case.
- Make sure your NDIA compliance documentation is up to date. The first step in dealing with any audit is ensuring that all of your documentation is organized and ready for review. If anything is missing, now is the time to get it together before they come knocking at your door! This includes things like Record of Assessments (ROAs), Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs), or any other documents required by federal law or state regulations. You may also want to make sure that all staff members have training on how these records should look when completed properly. This will make it easier for everyone involved if they need access during an audit investigation.
- Be prepared with information about how long it takes clients who come through our doors into employment positions based on what type of disability they have been diagnosed with as well as where those jobs are located geographically. We can compare against other agencies offering similar services across town or statewide depending upon whether someone is seeking employment opportunities within their hometown city limits versus somewhere else entirely outside metropolitan areas. Most companies tend not to hire new employees unless necessary due to the high costs associated with relocation.
NDIA compliance audits can be done in several ways, including:
- Reviewing complaints and reports
- Reviewing provider contracts
- Reviewing provider data
- Reviewing provider documentation, such as policies and procedures or IEPs (Individualized Education Plans)
You may want to consult with an attorney before responding to an NDIC compliance audit because the information requested by the NDIC can be highly sensitive. For example, when it comes to protected health information (PHI) about a client’s disability status or diagnosis.
The NDIA can take away funding, cancel a contract and fine providers. However, it is not the NDIA’s role to punish providers; rather they are there to enforce compliance with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
In extreme cases where providers continue to fail in their duty of care towards consumers or fail to meet their obligations under the scheme, the NDIA may refer them for criminal prosecution. This is done through another government agency called “The Department of Human Services”. If criminal charges are laid against you by either one of these agencies then there will be consequences including jail time if you are found guilty by a court of law.
The NDIA Compliance Response Team is not a law enforcement agency, but it does have the authority to investigate complaints and hold companies accountable for their actions. In one case, where a consumer group complained about the conduct of a large bank, the bank responded by taking legal action against the consumer group and the consumer group’s attorney. The consumer group was forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees to defend itself.
In other cases where companies are engaging in unfair practices or violating laws regulating fair lending practices (such as those prohibiting discrimination based on race or ethnicity), their punishments have been relatively mild: fines; required training programs for employees; agreements with regulators not to do it again and no admission of guilt.
We have seen this happen with all sorts of consumer advocacy agencies. The NDIA Compliance Response Team will attempt to intimidate you into silence by sending a letter that looks like something from a law firm, threatening legal action if you don’t stop publishing information about their client’s products or services. If you receive such a letter from the NDIA, we recommend that you do not respond immediately and instead consult with an attorney who specializes in First Amendment law before doing anything else.
The reason is simple if someone threatens legal action against you as part of an effort to intimidate and silence your organization or community group (as is often the case), then there’s a good chance that person doesn’t have any grounds for such threats! In other words: it’s probably just an empty threat designed to scare people into silence so they won’t continue talking about whatever issue has gotten under their skin but which doesn’t mean anything legally at all!
If you have received a compliance response, there are some actions that the NDIA can take against you:
- They can make an adverse finding against your organisation and/or any legal representatives involved in the matter. This means that if they find out about another breach of their rules by your organisation, they will not fund any future claims made by clients on behalf of that organisation.
- They can also make an adverse finding against individuals within an organisation who have been responsible for breaches. This means those individuals will not be able to access NDIS funding until further notice (and possibly forever).
Additionally, if someone else has been involved in committing fraud or theft through their use of NDIS funds such as family members or friends then these people may also face adverse findings from the NDIA Compliance Response Team.
The NDIA has sent out a message to providers to let them know that they’re watching. They’re watching for compliance issues, and if you have any, you could be in trouble.
The NDIA will be monitoring NDIS providers’ compliance with their obligations under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIA will also provide assistance and support for service providers who are having difficulty meeting their obligations under the scheme.
We hope this post has given you some insight into how the NDIA Compliance Response Team works and what to do if they come knocking. It’s important to remember that these are people just like us, doing their jobs. We all want the best for our community and we should be able to work together to make things better!