NDIS consultants cost Government almost $30m in two years

NDIS consultants cost Government almost $30m in two years

NDIS consultants cost Government almost $30m in two years

Updated 25 September 2017, 9:10 AEST

Labor accuses the Government of wasting "millions of dollars" on "endless reviews" after figures show more than 100 new contracts with external advisors were signed in the two years before the NDIS' bungled full launch.

The agency overseeing the National Disability Insurance Scheme has spent almost $30 million on consultants in just two years.

Figures reveal the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) signed more than 100 new contracts with external advisors in the two years before its bungled full scheme launch in July 2016.

The NDIA paid the contractors $15.7 million in the 2015-16 financial year, and $12.3 million the previous year.

Data for the latest financial year is not yet available, but a string of external reports have been commissioned during the period.

Labor's social services spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said decisions, and not more evaluations, were needed.

"The Turnbull Government is wasting money on endless reviews and consultancies rather than fixing the problems in the National Disability Insurance Scheme," she told the ABC.

"It's too important to have endless reviews and millions of dollars wasted.

"Get some decisions made, show some leadership, and fix the problems."

Series of reviews launched

During the two-year period, reports were delivered on the department's employment policies, along with on the structure of its board.

The Commonwealth more recently paid multinational firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) more than $350,000 to review the computer system meltdown that ruined the NDIS's nationwide launch.

Reviews have also recently been launched into its internal complaints procedure, and into how much disability service providers get paid.

The agency spent just $4.7 million on consultants in 2013-14.

The NDIA was contacted for comment.

The revelation comes a week after the ABC revealed the agency's bold foray into artificial intelligence had stalled.

The so-called "Nadia project" aims to help people navigate the NDIS through a virtual assistant.

The Nadia project has so far cost more than $3.5 million but key landmarks have been missed and insiders fear it has been sidelined by the Government, after the Census IT meltdown and Centrelink 'robo-debt' controversy.