Quality Plan Managers are the glue holding the NDIS together, the work they do in supporting participants to exercise their choice and control and self-determination whist supporting integrity in an extremely complex and bureaucratic scheme with immature and ineffective systems cannot be overstated.

Disability Intermediaries Australia (DIA) is aware of the media reports that have inaccurately stated that 90% of Plan Managers, show signs of, are committing, or are fraudulent which is incorrect.

On Monday, 3rd June 2024, NDIA Deputy CEO Mr John Dardo made a statement at senate estimates which has been misquoted and misinterpreted. Mr Dardo said “90% of our Plan Managers that manage between 0-100 participants, 90% of them, that’s out of 1000 Plan Managers have indicators of fraud”. Quote 22:25:20:00 of the Senate Community Affairs Committee Recording

As published in the latest NDIA Quarterly Report, at the end of March there were 1540 active Plan Management Providers (Business Entities). The overwhelming majority of the 408,702 NDIS Participants that choose to engage a Plan Manger receive services from a quality Plan Manager enjoying reliable, timely and accurate service that delivers choice and control and participant self-direction. Around 95% of NDIS Participants who elect to engage a Plan Manager do so from approximately 500 Plan Managers. Leaving around 1000 Registered Providers servicing around 5% of participants who elect to plan manage their funds.

This means that the Plan Management market has a very long tail, the largest 500 Plan Management Providers service almost all with the bottom 1000 servicing very few participants. This long tail of around a 1000 Registered Providers is whom Mr Dardo is referring to when stating those managing 0-100 participants and is highlighted in stripped red area above.

DIA has no tolerance for fraudsters, scammers, criminals or rogue operators. DIA has been raising concerns to the NDIA and NDIS Commission about this long tail for the last 5 years. These alleged criminals must be investigated, prosecuted and, if found guilty, barred from the NDIS and working with vulnerable people in any capacity.

In 2021 DIA published Professional Standards of Practice for our members. These standards fill the gap left by the NDIA and NDIS Commission’s lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities, conflict of interest and independence of service. DIA provided these to the NDIA and the NDIS Commission ahead of their release, and recommended their establishment into policy, which was ignored.

Over the last couple of days the Hon Bill Shorten, Minister for the NDIS has also provided further context and clarity around the issue.

Further Minister Shorten was interviewed on 2GB Mornings with Ray Hadley on 5 June 2024:

“I must say there is some good plan managers out there. There’s some very good providers. But what the Fraud Fusion Taskforce did is they set the anonymized data of the 900 smallest plan managers, and it found out that 300 plus had declared no income to the ATO. Now, if the NDIA is paying the money, but they’re not declaring it to another Government agency, that’s a big problem. But it’s taken us 12 months to get to the bottom of that. And that’s what John’s talking about yesterday.” Hon. Bill Shorten – interview on 2GB Mornings with Ray Hadley

Minister Shorten was interviewed on Sky News AM Agenda with Laura Jayes on 5 June 2024 saying:

“He didn’t say 90% of providers. What he said is, they studied plan managers, which are a small part of the whole Scheme. And he said that of the smallest plan managers, that a lot of red flags came up, more than 1 or 2. I need to be very clear. Most providers are doing the right thing. Most participants are doing the right thing.” Hon. Bill Shorten – interview on Sky News AM Agenda with Laura Jayes

In Question Time on 5th June 2024 – Minister Shorten directly spoke to the 900 registered providers referred to by Mr Dardo.

“Mr Dado has informed me about plan managers. He has said that they surveyed 900 of the smallest ones, with the least turnover of business. It turns out that 350 of them are not reporting their financial income to the ATO. That is because, until this government was elected, no-one ever asked to have the ATO and the NDA talk to each other. These plan managers pay themselves as downstream providers. They’re approaching participants on public transport and offering cash on the condition that no services will be delivered. They’re fabricating services and claims.” Hon. Bill Shorten – Hansard

These alleged fraudsters have all been registered, all passed audits and are all under the direct regulation of the NDIS Commission. All have claimed for participant’s plan funds which are held by the NDIA. On these inaccurate media reports DIA CEO Mr Jess Harper said:

Since its establishment, DIA has repeatedly called on the NDIA and the NDIS Commission to adequately regulate the sector and close the conflict-of-interest loopholes by implementing accreditation and independence of intermediaries from service provisions. The NDIA and NDIS Commission have ignored this advice repeatedly. Instead, the NDIA and NDIS Commission create an opaque guidence and vague communications.Mr Jess Harper – DIA CEO

The continued favouring of headline grabbing broadcast messaging over setting accurate market policy is  counterproductive and distracting from the focus on the current legislation tabled in Parliament and the forward reform agenda.

DIA calls on the Minister for the NDIS, the NDIA, NDIS Commission and government stakeholders to work in partnership with DIA to improve participant experience, choice and control and self-determination by strengthening the quality of Plan Management services.

DIA, formed in 2018, is the peak body for quality Plan Managers and Support Coordinators providing advice, representation and standards to more than 1200 members that service more than half of all NDIS Participants and employ over 38,000 workers.

Media Requests
To arrange an interview with or comment from DIA please contact:

DIA Chief Executive Officer
Mr Jess Harper – 0421 244 824, or




DIA is a members-based organisation. We are only able to do the work that we do because of the ongoing support of our members. Thank you to all DIA members that continue to support the work we do. If you’re a provider delivering Support Coordination or Plan Management are not yet a member, you should consider joining. Click here to join from our homepage.