Submission to Attorney- General’s Department Administrative Review Reform: Issues Paper

Publication date:
12 May 2023
Resource type:
Submission

PIAC’s submission to the Attorney-General’s Department’s Administrative Review Reform Issues Paper gives our support to the Government’s intention to improve how administrative review is conducted in Australia.   

Our submission is based on our experience supporting people with disability to appeal National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) decisions at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

The process of seeking review of NDIS decisions can be stressful for NDIS participants. NDIS reviews involve people who experience disproportionate rates of trauma and vulnerability prior to their engagement with the reviewing body. Those experiences can be aggravated by the challenges they face when appealing NDIS decisions at the AAT, including lengthy and antagonistic proceedings, and behaviour of the NDIA and its representatives that is inconsistent with the Model Litigant Obligations. Challenges can be compounded by support needs that stem from the nature of a person’s impairments.

In close consultation with the NDIS Systemic Advocacy Working Group, comprising national peak disability representative organisations and legal aid commissions, PIAC has prepared a list of principles to guide the approach to the new federal review body that have been designed with specific reference to the NDIS division of the AAT. These principles focus on promoting the experience of people with disability within the new review body’s processes, by ensuring access to justice and upholding procedural fairness. The principles are also in line with the overall goal of the NDIS: to provide support for decision-making for people with disability which promotes self-determination, control, and autonomy.  

Finally, we consider the new review body should have built-in processes and procedures so it can play a role in generating better first-instance decision-making, better government policies, and greater public confidence in government administration.  

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