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Chapter 1.2 The portfolio

As at 30 June 2020, two Ministers and two Assistant Ministers had responsibilities in the Social Services Portfolio:

  • Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services
  • The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme,
    Minister for Government Services
  • The Hon Michelle Landry MP, Assistant Minister for Children and Families
  • The Hon Luke Howarth MP, Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services.

The department is established as a Department of State under the Administrative Arrangements Order.

In addition to the Department of Social Services, the portfolio comprises the following portfolio bodies:

  • Australian Institute of Family Studies, established under the Family Law Act 1975
  • National Disability Insurance Agency, established under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013
  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, established under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013
  • Services Australia, established as an Executive Agency under the Public Service Act 1999
  • Digital Transformation Agency, established as an Executive Agency under the
    Public Service Act 1999
  • Hearing Australia, established under the Australian Hearing Services Act 1991.

Portfolio bodies

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Outcome: increase understanding of factors affecting how families function by conducting research and communicating findings to policy-makers, service providers, and the broader community.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies provides advice, shares knowledge, and builds evidence about what works for families to accelerate positive outcomes.

aifs.gov.au

National Disability Insurance Agency

Outcome: implement a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that provides individual control and choice in the delivery of reasonable and necessary supports to improve the independence, social and economic participation of eligible people with disability, their families and carers, and associated referral services and activities.

The National Disability Insurance Agency, established under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, has responsibility for administering the NDIS. The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (in conjunction with other laws) gives effect to Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

ndis.gov.au

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

Outcome: promote the delivery of quality supports and services to people with disability under the NDIS and other prescribed supports and services, including through nationally consistent and responsive regulation, policy development, advice, and education.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the NDIS Commission) is a statutory body established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. The NDIS Commission is responsible for ensuring NDIS providers comply with new regulatory standards and the NDIS Code of Conduct in the course of delivering supports and services to NDIS participants. The NDIS Commission also promotes safety and quality services, resolves problems, and identifies areas for improvement.

The NDIS Commission commenced operations in New South Wales and South Australia on 1 July 2018. All other states and territories transitioned on 1 July 2019 except Western Australia, which will transition to the NDIS Commission on 1 December 2020.

ndiscommission.gov.au

Services Australia

Outcome: support individuals, families and communities to achieve greater self-sufficiency; through the delivery of advice and high quality accessible social, health and child support services and other payments; and support providers and businesses through convenient and efficient service delivery.

servicesaustralia.gov.au

Digital Transformation Agency

Outcome: accelerate the Government’s digital transformation agenda by helping agencies move more services online, deliver a better user experience to users, and ensure the best use of Government’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) spend. The Digital Transformation Agency is a non‑corporate Commonwealth entity.

dta.gov.au

Hearing Australia

Mission: provide world leading research and hearing services for the wellbeing of all Australians. Hearing Australia is a Public Non-financial Corporation (Trading) entity established under the Australian Hearing Services Act 1991. Accordingly, Hearing Australia is not reported in the Portfolio Budget Statements or Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements. Hearing Australia is a corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and
is governed by a board that is appointed by the Minister for Government Services.

hearing.com.au

Ministers and portfolio responsibilities

Figure 1.2.1 Social Services portfolio as at 30 June 2020

 Australian Institute of Family Studies, Director, Ms Anne Hollonds; NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, Commissioner, Mr Graeme Head AO; National Disability Insurance Agency, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Martin Hoffman; Services Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Ms Rebecca Skinner; Digital Transformation Agency, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Randall Brugeaud; Hearing Australia, Managing Director, Mr Kim Terrell.

Changes to the Portfolio 2019-20

Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services) was established as a new Executive Agency within the Social Services Portfolio under the Administrative Arrangements Order issued on 5 December 2019, with effect from 1 February 2020.