Earlier this month the National Disability Insurance Agency put out a call for tenders to take up Local Area Coordination duties at a number of roll out sites across ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. This call for tenders included a sizeable dump of documents for hopeful LACs to read and answer.
One part of the document dump includes the LAC Pricing Response Schedule MS Excel file. This file is for potential LAC providers to fill in their costings and staffing ratios. It also contains the NDIA’s quarterly expectations for participant volumes under the heading ‘Participant Volumes – (NDIA Provided Data)‘. The NDIA’s expectations suggest some fairly wild fluctuations…
While there is naturally a wide variety in the raw numbers expected between each region (regional areas have less people than cities of course), within regions there is significant volatility from quarter to quarter. This may be concerning as it suggests highly transient work, with people employed quarterly. As any fruit farmer knows, managing a seasonal work force can be quite a challenge. Structuring the LAC objectives in this way may make it a challenge to find and train quality staff. A lack of quality LAC staff may limit the quality and effectiveness of NDIS plans, which would naturally disadvantage NDIS participants.
To account for the variety between regions, we’ve created a graph below demonstrating the variance from the average participant volumes for each region. This means that a straight line through 0% would say that every quarter is consistently the same number of NDIS participants. All regions start at -100% because the NDIA’s numbers start from Q1 July-Sept 2016, when none of the regions will have a LAC appointed. Averages for each region were calculated using only quarters from their local launch through to the end of the NDIA’s numbers in June 2019 (Q12).
The graph shows the great inconsistency between quarters. The quarterly NDIS participant numbers presented by the NDIA zig-zag wildly past the average 0% line. In some regions, LACs will be expected to manage more than 200% over their region’s average in their first quarter of operation, while some collapse to zero or near zero after in the 3 months after the initial boom.
For a break down of each LAC region, click on the State or Territory link listed alphapetically below: