epic fail in stakeholder engagement

Subject: epic fail in stakeholder engagement
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2018 09:28:13 +1000
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Organization: Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
To: Dr Helen Nugent OA <chair@ndis.gov.au>, CEO.OFFICE <ceo.office@ndis.gov.au>
CC: The Hon. Dan Tehan MP <dan.tehan.mp@aph.gov.au>, Seselja, Zed (Senator) <Senator.Seselja@aph.gov.au>, The Hon Jane Prentice MP <jane.prentice.mp@aph.gov.au>, senator.steele-john@aph.gov.au, Senator Carol Brown <senator.carol.brown@aph.gov.au>

Dear Dr Nugent and Mr De Luca,

I met with Ms Gunn on 29-May-2018, as you organised.

If the meeting was meant to be stakeholder engagement, then it was an epic fail.

As noted about previous meetings with NDIA staff, Ms Gunn came completely unprepared to discuss any concerns. She gave no indication prior to the meeting of the purpose of the meeting. Apparently, she expected me to just rattle issues off the top of my head again.

In the meeting, Ms Gunn rejected every issue raised. She showed no respect for or recognition of the concerns of the autism community. She immediately refuted every concern raised.

In particular, she refuted that the NDIA changed its operational guideline even though it had announced it on twitter (see http://a4.org.au/node/1762). Senator Steele-John explained recently in Senate Estimates why any reasonable person regards the NDIA's so-called "clarifications" are significant changes.

These changes are contrary to the Minister's assurance (MS18-000877, 23/5/2018) that there would be no changes without stakeholder and community consultation.

A4 is concerned that the NDIA's latest change impose additional barriers particularly to access and eligibility for the NDIS for children with a new diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

It appears that the NDIA staff who are sent meet with A4 are not allowed to recognise or acknowledge a community concern under any circumstances.

The only commitment Ms Gunn could make was that there might be another similar meeting scheduled in 6 months or so.

This is not stakeholder engagement.

Bob Buckley
Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
website: http://a4.org.au/

A4 is the national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people, their families, carers and associates. A4 is internet based so that Australians anywhere can participate.

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