The function of the Advisory Council is to provide the NDIA Board with independent advice, which the Board must consider when performing its duties as governing body of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The IAC consists of a Principal Member and up to 12 other Members. From 1 July 2017, the IAC has been supplemented by 5 Expert Advisers engaged by the NDIA to provide advice to the IAC from the perspective of the key national disability and carer peak bodies and the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Commissioner.
Appointments to the IAC are made by the Minister for Social Services. The Principal Member is appointed by the Minister, in consultation with the States and Territories. Members are appointed by the Minister, with the support of the Commonwealth, States and Territories. Appointments are made on a part-time basis for up to three years.
In appointing Members, the Minister must have regard to the desirability of the IAC reflecting the diversity of people with disability and ensure that all Members are persons with skills, experience or knowledge that will help the IAC perform its function. Additionally, appointments must ensure:
- a majority of members are people with disability; and
- at least two of the members are carers of people with disability; and
- at least one of the members is a person who has the skills, experience or knowledge in relation to disability in rural or regional areas; and
- at least one of the members is a person who has skills, experience or knowledge in the supply of equipment, or the provision of services, to people with disability.
The function of the IAC is to provide, on its own initiative or at the written request of the NDIA Board, advice to the Board about the way in which the NDIA:
- performs its functions in relation to the Scheme; and
- supports the independence and social and economic participation of people with disability; and
- provides reasonable and necessary supports, including early intervention supports, for participants in the Scheme launch; and
- enables people with disability to exercise choice and control in the pursuit of their goals and the planning and delivery of their supports; and
- facilitates the development of a nationally consistent approach to the access to, and the planning and funding of, supports for people with disability; and
- promotes the provision of high-quality and innovative supports to people with disability; and
- raises community awareness of the issues that affect the social and economic participation of people with disability, and facilitates greater community inclusion of people with disability.
In providing advice, the IAC must have regard to the role of families, carers and other significant persons in the lives of people with disability.
The NDIA Board must have regard to advice of the IAC in performing its functions. Additionally, the Board must also give the Ministerial Council a copy of IAC advice together with a statement setting out what has been done, or is to be done, in response to the advice.
For information about how the IAC fits alongside the other governance arrangements for the NDIS, go to https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/governance.html