The National Disability Insurance Agency has put out a call for tenders to provide Local Area Coordination (LAC) services and Early Childhood Early Intervention services in regions across Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia. The call for tenders is being administered by the federal Department of Social Services.
This follows on from earlier appointments this year that saw Local Area Coordination duties divided up between Uniting and St Vincent de Pauls across New South Wales, Tasmania split between Mission Australia & Baptcare as well as three discrete appointments in Victoria for North East Melbourne LAC Brotherhood of St. Lawrence, Central Highlands LAC Latrobe Community Health Service and Loddon LAC Intereach.
From the guidelines released by the NDIA, the Local Area Coordinators and Early Childhood Early Intervention partners will be geographic monopolies, with only one provider appointed to each region:
“No more than one Local Area Coordination Partner and one Early Childhood Early Intervention Partner will be appointed in each Service Area.”
“It will be possible for an Applicant to be both the Local Area Coordination Partner and the Early Childhood Early Intervention Partner in a Service Area.”
“It will also be possible for an Applicant to be successful in more than one Service Area.” (all from page 5)
[image: woman with hands to mouth and eyes wide looking surprised]
And in somewhat of a surprise twist, the NDIA has largely ruled out the possibility of appointing LACs who are also registered NDIS providers. As the tender guidelines also state:
“An Applicant which applies to deliver LAC Services, must not be a Registered Provider of Supports” (page 13, section 126.96.36.199)
Apparently it is a conflict of interest to be both a LAC and a registered provider – you don’t say! Though there is some legalese in that same section that allows for a registered provider to be a LAC in exceptional circumstances.
Registered providers hoping to become their region’s NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention service are less ominously forbidden, with the guidelines stating that registered providers “may” apply or act as sub contractors, but again, also in exceptional circumstances (more on that on page 14, section 188.8.131.52).
If you are interested in how the NDIA is looking to outsource LACs and ECEIs in your area (or need something to do now Masterchef is over – Congrats Elena!), you can find all the tender documents here on the Department of Social Services website
If you live in an area where LACs have already been appointed (hi there NSW, VIC and TAS!) you can find your Local Area Coordination partner service locations here: