MEDIA RELEASE - NDIS Board Appointment Process
is important to correct the record on issues related to the Board of the
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) covered in today's Australian
Financial Review (AFR) and on today’s Jon Faine program.
It is untrue, as asserted by the Federal Opposition, that the Government is
seeking to spill the positions on the Board of the NDIS and has commenced a
board selection process that is not known to the Chair of the Board or to the
States and Territories.
The Federal Minister does not have the power to
dismiss Board members or to unilaterally appoint Board members. Appointments
are made through agreement with jurisdictions
The terms of all current Board members were set
by the previous government and expire on 30 June 2016
If the Government did not establish a process
regarding appointments there would be no Board from the middle of next year
The previous Government did not follow best
corporate governance practice when it failed to stagger the dates of Board
to the AFR report, it has always been the intention of the Government in the
next iteration of the Board to stagger term expiry. I indicated this in Senate
Estimates on 26 February 2015 and on the Jon Faine program on the same day and
wrote to all State and Territory Treasurers and Disability Ministers on 7 July
2015 confirming this.
States and Territories and the Board Chair were aware of the background and
process for appointment of Board members for 1 July 2016.
with jurisdictions commenced with agreement by First Ministers at COAG on 17
April 2015 that there should be a process to ensure the next iteration of the
board had the best skill set for the transition phase of the Scheme. This
agreement was discussed at the 24 April 2015 COAG Disability Reform Council
(DRC) Ministerial Meeting. On 7 July 2015 I wrote to all Ministerial members of
the DRC seeking their agreement to an appointments process that would include
the engagement of a search firm. By 29 July 2015 all jurisdictions had written
to confirm their agreement to the process. On 2 September 2015 I wrote to DRC
Ministerial members confirming the search firm had been engaged and advising
that advertisements calling for expressions of interest would soon appear.
9 July 2015 the Department of Social Services, at my direction, outlined the
proposed Board selection process to the Chair of the Board which included
providing a copy of the 7 July 2015 correspondence to my ministerial
counterparts. I wrote to the Chair on 17 July 2015 providing further details of
the Board selection process. On 3 September 2015, Board members were contacted
by the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Department of Social
Services and advised that expression of interest advertisements would appear in
the press from the following day and that further advice on the process would
be provided. Early on 4 September 2015 my Department emailed a letter from me
inviting interested Board members to take part in the process.
I have indicated publicly, including on the Jon Faine program on 26 February
2015, it is the intention of governments that the new Board will ensure
continuity through the continuation of some existing board members, combined
with new members, to oversee the transition phase the NDIS is entering. The new
Board will include some members with experience on the boards of large listed
companies or Government Business Enterprises, the requirements detailed in the
NDIS Act and people with relevant skill sets and lived experience of
A public process that is advertised and commences nine
months before the expiry of board terms is the opposite of the stealth approach
alleged by the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth and all jurisdictions are
focussed on ensuring the Scheme in all its elements is the best it can be.
Media contact: Vincent Tulley | 0409 244 865 | firstname.lastname@example.org