By bobb |

Miriam Webber

NDIS Commission boss Tracy Mackey will step down from the role in May, after a tumultuous 12 months for the agency.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten announced Ms Mackey's resignation in a statement on Tuesday, saying the government was working to "build a better NDIS disability watchdog".

Mr Shorten's statement did not say why Ms Mackey was leaving the role, but thanked her for her time at the commission, and wished her well.

Disability advocate and 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott has slammed NDIS scammers and called for less negative reporting on the disability service.

"The historic Independent NDIS Review and the Disability Royal Commission recommended strengthening the Scheme's regulation powers and designing a system that meets the needs of a modern society," the statement read.

"The Albanese government is committed to helping to protect Australians with disability from unscrupulous operators."

"We are consulting people with disability and taking advice from all corners of the disability community on how together we can build a better NDIS disability watchdog."

Commission told to improve unsafe workloads

Staff's complaints of unsafe workloads led the health and safety watchdog, Comcare, to issue an improvement notice to the agency in April 2023.

The Commission initially contested the notice, on the grounds that it did not reflect changes implemented to address workloads, and budgetary constraints.

But after a review, Comcare upheld its decision.

The NDIS Commission regulates NDIS providers. Picture by Melissa Adams

The NDIS Commission regulates NDIS providers. Picture by Melissa Adams


Ms Mackey later told staff she was "disappointed" some had turned to the media to express concerns the agency wasn't addressing workloads.

The commission received $142.6 million in additional funding in the May 2023 budget.

But Comcare has since launched a formal investigation into the agency's failure to act on the warning.

The Community and Public Sector Union welcomed the leadership announcement and claimed Ms Mackey had "failed" to improve the workplace.

"The departure of Tracy Mackey from her role as Commissioner at the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, will be welcomed by our members," the union's deputy national president Beth Vincent-Pietsch said.

"Ms Mackey has failed at every turn to provide staff at the Commission a safe and respectful workplace.

"People with disability and their families need the NDIS Commission to be a proactive and powerful body that regulates providers of NDIS disability support services."

Search for a new boss to commence

The agency also released a statement, which pointed out Ms Mackey had served the majority of her three year term - due to end in January 2025.

"This will also provide an opportunity for government to make decisions about the future of the NDIS Commissioner role without having an incumbent in the position," the statement read.

"The Commission gratefully acknowledges Ms Mackey's leadership and commitment to the maturing of the Commission's regulatory approach.

"We look forward to working with the incoming Commissioner and understand further details will be announced by the Minister shortly."

Mr Shorten said the government will now undertake a recruitment process to find a new commissioner.