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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1217 ..

are in place to direct service delivery. There are also sound policies for risk management. However, the report found that there are a number of things that could be improved. This particularly related to existing procedures for access and priority to services and ensuring that policies and procedures are consistently applied across the services addressing inconsistencies between intention and practice.

The ACT government provided its submission to the recommendations of the report to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in September 2009. Of the 14 recommendations made in the report, the ACT government agreed to 10 recommendations, agreed in part to one recommendation and agreed to note three recommendations. Since the report was tabled, the ACT government has released Future directions: towards challenge 2014, which is our policy framework to continue to improve outcomes and opportunities for Canberrans who have a disability.

My department has undertaken significant work to implement the recommendations made by the Auditor-General. I am pleased to announce that all the recommendations have now been implemented. Consultation with and feedback from people with a disability, their families and the community have featured greatly in the implemented actions. Attention has been given to work more closely with families and to support them in developing and implementing life plans for their family members that provide opportunities in social, recreational and vocational domains.

I can highlight some examples. In consultation with people with a disability who use respite services and their families, Disability ACT has developed and is trialling new individual respite plan processes. The rollout of these processes commenced in January this year. So far, 27 families of people currently using respite services are participating in the trial, and the initial feedback has been extremely positive. The rollout of the new processes to all Disability ACT respite houses will continue.

An enhanced client feedback system has been implemented, providing the opportunity for people with a disability, their families and the community, to give compliments, to make complaints and provide feedback on services enabling continued improvement. The 2009 client satisfaction survey was enhanced, including the addition of mechanisms to increase the response rate. This survey included a measure of client satisfaction with Disability ACT respite services in the last 12 months. Some 82 per cent of clients were satisfied or very satisfied with respite services, and there was an increase of 31 per cent in the response rate compared to the overall response rate of the 2007 survey.

The Auditor-General made reference to policies and procedures linking to the national disability service standards. Operational policies and procedural templates are being implemented, ensuring that all operational procedures, policies and guidelines are developed consistently and establish a link to the national disability service standards and ongoing governing legislation. The policies will become accessible to the public through a prioritised rollout on the department’s internet site.

My department, through Disability ACT, continues to collaborate with the commonwealth government on the development of a national disability strategy and reforms, including a national definition of access and eligibility and a review of the national disability service standards.

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