Ausnew Home Care | NDIS minister Bill Shorten reads the riot act to rorters, vowing to track down 'shonky' providers

NDIS minister Bill Shorten reads the riot act to rorters, vowing to track down 'shonky' providers

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The minister in charge of the NDIS has vowed to track down "shonky" disability providers, telling them to "get off my scheme".

Bill Shorten told the ABC that some providers were making themselves "NDIS millionaires off the backs of taxpayers and people with disability."

"The NDIS is doing a lot of good for a lot of people. But in my opinion, there's been insufficient scrutiny paid on the backdoor of the scheme," Mr Shorten said.

"The invoices come in, people aren't checked to see if the services that they're claiming they deserve to be reimbursed for have actually occurred."

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission chief Michael Phelan has estimated that up to 15-20 per cent of the NDIS expenditure is rorted.

"Ever since I became minister for the NDIS about five months ago, I've been shocked at the outpouring of complaints about some people taking the scheme for a ride," Mr Shorten said.

"I want to be very clear to anyone who thinks they can rob people with disability and rob taxpayers: Get off my scheme. Just get off my scheme. The party's over.

"Don't take the money from the people who really need it."

Disability advocate and Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott echoed Mr Shorten's comments, saying those who were abusing the scheme can "go and get stuffed".

A mad in a suit jacket sits at a table speaking as business and union leaders look on. Ausnew Home Care, NDIS registered provider, My Aged Care
Australian of the Year and disability advocate Dylan Alcott slammed those who abuse the scheme.(ABC News: Luke Stephenson)

Mr Alcott said the government's Fraud Fusion Taskforce would find the "dodgy people out there doing dodgy things".

"And if you are watching this, and you're doing the wrong thing, you are literally taking away from a neurodiverse kid getting care," he said.

"You're taking away someone with a high-level disability having a shower."

Last month's budget projected a 13.8 per cent annual growth of the NDIS, with the Treasury estimating the $34 billion scheme would cost $97 billion by 2032 unless brought under tighter control.

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Duration: 47 seconds
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Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott's passionate plea for NDIS

Allegations of fraud to be tested in court

In Perth, a disability provider is facing a ban from the NDIS, with its founder accused of a $250,000 fraud.

The director of Forward Focused Group, Vida Reid, has been charged with two counts of general dishonesty causing loss and two counts of dealing in proceeds of crime.

Vida Reid
Vida Reid(YouTube)

The National Disability Insurance Agency's investigation into the company was launched after it received tip-offs from former and current staff and NDIS participants, who claimed over-charging, forging of consent documents and false representations of disability.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission suspended Forward Focused Group registration on October 19 and issued a notice of intent to ban the provider altogether from the scheme.

"Conduct identified includes non-compliance with the NDIS code of conduct through a failure to act with respect for NDIS participants' individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making, as well as act with integrity, honesty and transparency," the commission said.

"The NDIS Commission identified conduct involving threats, bullying and harassment of NDIS participants, as well as the submission of false claims for payment to the NDIS."

Ms Reid is on bail and will next appear in court on November 18.

"As this case is now before the courts, it is not appropriate for the agency to comment on the matter," an NDIA spokesman said.

"Fraud is a crime. The agency has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud. Any type or amount of fraud is unacceptable. One dollar dishonestly or fraudulently obtained is one dollar that is not received by those who are entitled to NDIS funding."


Source: ABC

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