Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Cutting red tape for Disability Employment Services

The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, today announced the Government’s first three changes to lessen the administrative burden on Disability Employment Services providers.

Senator Fifield said the Government was serious about cutting red tape, while ensuring appropriate accountability for providers.

The Coalition Government is committed to cutting $1 billion a year in red and green tape which will result in more efficient government and more productive businesses.

“These measures are a small but meaningful first step in the Government’s promise to reduce unnecessary red tape for DES providers,” Senator Fifield said.

“We want providers to focus their efforts on what they do best–finding jobs for people with disability, injury or health conditions–rather than struggling under burdensome paperwork.

“I have tasked my Department with running a fine-tooth comb through the guidelines and other documents used to administer Disability Employment Services, in order to streamline documents and provide greater clarity about program requirements.

“Any changes to these guidelines will now only occur on a quarterly basis, to deliver certainty about program settings and allow providers to focus on any changes in the knowledge more will not occur unexpectedly.

“Providers will also now have 56 days to claim outcome fees, double the current claim period, allowing them more time to collect necessary documents to support the claim.

“Disability Employment Services providers will also no longer need to keep paper copies of records if they have an electronic copy.

“These are common sense initiatives, as part of the Government’s commitment to reduce bureaucratic red tape.

“The Government is very serious about improving opportunities for people with disability, which is why we must help our providers focus on providing the services they are funded to deliver.

“We will continue to look for administrative waste in the disability employment sector and make processes easier where possible,” Senator Fifield said.