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DB Results’ RFT Submission, Tender Evaluation, Risk Assessment and Conflict of Interest Declaration/s (NDIA Mobile Application)

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Dear National Disability Insurance Agency,

Please provide copies of:

1. The NDIA’s Mobile Application Request for Tender (RFT)
2. The NDIA’s tender evaluation of DB Result’s submission
3. The NDIA’s procurement risk assessment of DB Results’ submission
4. The NDIA’s conflict of interest register specific to DB Results
5. The NDIA’s vendor/third-party provider risk assessment
6. Contract amendments, design variance, or changed requirements (mobile application)
7. Cybersecurity risk assessment (mobile application)

Context:

It has been widely reported that the NDIA has been building a mobile application for participants [1]. Reports also claim the NDIA has spent $1.55 million as of February 2021 [2] on the development and creation of the NDIS app. DB Results [3] has been named as one of five suppliers in this mobile app development [2], sharing in the reported $250,000 per month in costs for the application that currently is used by a paltry 422 participants [4] of the nearly 400,000 total participant population [5]. Remembering, ‘participant’ is a simple classifier describing a complex and diverse array of people with disability/ies, many of them children. So diverse, the NDIS and Allied health professionals have developed 400 profiles from just 4,000 participants sampled during recent Independent Assessments (IA) [6]. However, the mobile app’s primary function seems to be that of funding and financial management [7]. It is therefore unclear how many actual users will need, prefer or be able to access the NDIS app. Notwithstanding those living remotely, cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) [6] or those without internet connection or a compatible device/s.

It would seem DB Results has had key technical people embedded within influential positions within the NDIA for years. According to their website, in August 2018, DB Results embedded lead user experience (UX) individual/s at the NDIA [8] for 6 months. This appears to be a standing if not on-going arrangement. DB Results were paid $614,004.80 for temporary staffing and recruitment [9] during the calendar year of 2020. Therefore, it appears that DB Results is not only providing contract staff, conducting recruitment but also influencing (if not directing) technical decision making at the NDIA, possibly inclusive of procurement, development and management of projects, including the mobile application, which they are a provider for also [1]. This presents as a considerable conflict of interest (actual and perceived) if not proactively management or de-risked. Especially, noting that DB Results do not have ‘mobile application development’ specifically listed as ‘approved categories’ on the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) ‘Buy ICT’ online marketplace [10]. Specific, supporting information would aid in clarifying if not untangling these complex issues.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Shirley

References:

1. Barbaschow, A. (2021) Senators concerned NDIS app will become another COVIDSafe million dollar ‘success’, dated 31 Mar 21. Available at: < https://www.zdnet.com/article/senators-c...>. Accessed [4 Jun 21]
2. Ibid
3. DB results (2021) Website. Available at : <: https://dbresults.com.au/ > Accessed [10 Jun 21]
4. Barbaschow, A. (2021) Nearly AU$250,000 spent per month on staff costs to develop NDIS app, dated 31 May 21. Available at: < https://www.zdnet.com/article/nearly-au2...>. Accessed [4 Jun 21]
5. NDIS (2020) Annual Report 2019-20, National Disability Insurance Agency, Australian Government. Available at: < https://www.ndis.gov.au/media/2724/downl...>. Accessed [7 Jun 21]
6. NDIS (2021) Working out personalised budgets, National Disability Agency, Australian Government, dated 3 Jun 21. Available at: < https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/improvi...>. Accessed 12 Jun 21]
7. Macarthur Plan Managers (2021) NDIS Funding Mobile App: Australian’s that are living with disability now have access to view their NDIS Funding information in real-time with our free mobile app. Available at: <https://www.macarthurplanmanagers.com.au...>. Accessed [12 Jun 21]
8. Martin, M. (2018) Bias for biases, DB Results, dated 23 Aug 2018. Available at: < https://dbresults.com.au/bias-for-biases/>. Accessed [12 Jun 21]
9. NDIS (2020) Sentate Order 13: 2020 Calendar Year, National Disability Insurance Agency, Australian Government, Available at: < Senate Order for Entity Contracts Listing Relating to the period 1 January 2020 to 30 December 2020 (PDF 1MB)>. Accessed [10 Jun 21]
10. Australian Government (2021) DB Results, Buy ICT, Digital Marketplace, Digital Transformation Agency, Australian Government. Available at: < https://www.buyict.gov.au/sp?id=seller_d...>. Accessed [12 Jun 21]

foi, National Disability Insurance Agency

Thank you for contacting the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

 

Freedom of Information

 

If your message is a request for access to documents under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), we will acknowledge it within
14-days of receipt.  We may be in touch with you sooner if your request is
too large or vague.

 

We are committed to processing all requests as quickly as possible.  We
will keep in regular contact with you, especially if there's any delay in
making a decision.

 

Further information about FOI is available on our website:
[1]https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...

 

Please contact us at [2][NDIA request email] if you have any questions or
require help.

 

Participant Information Access

 

If you are an NDIS participant and you are seeking access to your own
personal information, you can make a request online under our Participant
Information Access (PIA) process.

 

To make a request, please complete our online request form:
[3]https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...

 

Please contact us at [4][email address] if you have any
questions or require help.

 

Other enquiries

 

If your message is for something else, you should direct it to
[5][email address].

 

If your message is received outside our business hours of 9am to 5pm
(AEST), Monday to Friday or on a public holiday, we will action it on the
next business day.

 

If your message is urgent, you can call our National Conact Centre on 1800
800 110.

 

Warm regards

 

NDIA FOI Team
Email: [6][email address]

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References

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1. https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...
2. mailto:[NDIA request email]
3. https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[email address]

foi, National Disability Insurance Agency

2 Attachments

Dear Shirley

 

Thank you for your request for information.

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request.  If you
require the attachment in a different format, please let us know.

 

We’re sorry to let you know that it will take us longer than expected to
process your request.  This is because the material you are requesting
will require multiple consultations and searches with different line
areas.

 

We are, therefore, writing to seek your agreement to a 30 day extension of
time under section 15AA of the FOI Act. This would make the new due date
11 August 2021.

 

Please let us know whether you agree by 12:00pm Friday 2 July 2021.

 

If you don’t agree, we may need to seek an extension from the Office of
Australian Information Commissioner.

 

Please contact us at [1][NDIA request email] if you have any questions or
require help.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information Officer

Parliamentary, Ministerial and FOI Branch

Government Division

National Disability Insurance Agency

E: [2][NDIA request email]

[3]Title: NDIS delivered by the National Disability Insurance Agency

 

The NDIA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout
Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to them and their cultures and to Elders past, present
and emerging. 

 

show quoted sections

References

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1. mailto:[NDIA request email]
2. mailto:[NDIA request email]

Dear foi,

I agree to the 30 day extension request.

Yours sincerely,

Shirley

National Disability Insurance Agency

2 Attachments

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    Re FOI 20 21 0876 Your request for information Acknowledgement and extension of time SEC OFFICIAL.txt

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Rochelle Dunlop,

5 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/02152

Agency reference: FOI 20/21-0876

 

 

Shirley

Sent by email: [1][FOI #7463 email]

Extension of time application by the National Disability Insurance Agency

Dear Shirley

 

I write to advise that on 9 August 2021, the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from the
National Disability Insurance Agency (the NDIA) for an extension of time
to process your FOI request made on 12 June 2021, titled:

1. DB Results’ RFT Submission, Tender Evaluation, Risk Assessment and
Conflict of Interest Declaration/s (NDIA Mobile Application)

 

The NDIA has advised the OAIC that you agreed to an extension of time to
process the request under s 15AA of the FOI Act to 11 August 2021 (OAIC
reference RQ21/02160).

 

The NDIA has applied for an extension of time under s 15AB of the Freedom
of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because your request is considered to be
complex and voluminous. 

·     The NDIA has advised the OAIC that:

−     the request is broadly scoped and covers both current and historical
documents

−     the request seeks access to documents of a highly sensitive and
complex nature from multiple business areas

−     the NDIA is engaged in a significant amount of consultation with
multiple stakeholders to ensure it has appropriately identified documents
within scope, and determine whether it needs to further engage with you

−     searches for historic material have been complex as ICT
infrastructure has changed over time and other Commonwealth agencies hold
the archived material, and

−     the NDIA is committed to issuing a decision as soon as possible.

The NDIA has requested an extension to 10 September 2021. I will take any
comments you may have to make into account when deciding the application.

 

Please respond to this email by close of business 13 August 2021. If I do
not hear from you by this date, I will proceed to make a decision on the
basis of the information provided to me by the NDIA.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [2]Extensions of time.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

[3][IMG]   Rochelle Dunlop  |  Review and
Investigation Advisor

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [4]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9783  | 
[5][email address]
[9]Subscribe [10]Subscribe to
[6]Facebook | [7]LinkedIn | [8]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[FOI #7463 email]
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
3. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
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5. mailto:%[email address]
6. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
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8. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
10. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...

Dear FOI,

Thank you for the update.

Received and understood.

Yours sincerely,

Shirley

Rochelle Dunlop,

6 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/02152

Agency reference: FOI 20/21-0876

 

Shirley

Sent by email: [1][FOI #7463 email]

Extension of time under s 15AB

Dear Shirley

 

Please find attached a decision of today’s date for an extension of time
from the National Disability Insurance Agency.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

[2][IMG]   Rochelle Dunlop  |  Review and
Investigation Advisor

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9783  | 
[4][email address]
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[FOI #7463 email]
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
4. mailto:%[email address]
5. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
7. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
9. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...

foi, National Disability Insurance Agency

2 Attachments

Dear Shirley

 

Thank you for your request for information.

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request.

 

Please contact us at [1][NDIA request email] if you have any questions or
require help.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information Officer

Parliamentary, Ministerial and FOI Branch

Government Division

National Disability Insurance Agency

E: [2][NDIA request email]

[3]Title: NDIS delivered by the National Disability Insurance Agency

 

The NDIA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout
Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to them and their cultures and to Elders past, present
and emerging. 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[NDIA request email]
2. mailto:[NDIA request email]

Dear foi,

I contest the the charge has been wrongly assessed.

1. It has taken 90 days to receive this notification, 60 days past the prescribed 30 day FOI statute. It should therefore be a reasonable assumption that document archiving and retrieval is sub optimal within your Agency. Tax payers should therefore not be charged twice for in-efficiencies. Myself included.
2. Each of these requests were submitted individually. It was entirely an arbitrary decision to cluster them into a single enquiry. Making more work for yourself, thus over stating the work requirement.
3. The NDIA mobile application is a very recent endeavour, therefore documentation should be readily accessible and retrievable. The NDIA CEO and Oliver Bladek were questioned about this application within the past few months at a senate estimates hearing, also noting the recency of documentation and files. While they 'took the question on notice', the issue was a matter of public tender. Again, documentation should be readily accessible and 'top of mind'. Lengthy internal discussions and cost recovery objectives would therefore seem unreasonable.
4. 14 documents should not require 4 hrs electronic retrieval. Poor systems, processes and capabilities should not be a cost recovery exercise from government to tax payers.
5. It is inconceivable any organisation or department would require 24 hrs to 'think' about this request or the documentation. Should staff wish to lament the limitations of internal systems, complexity of public service life or any other random subject during the 90 day period upon which this request remained open, it is an unrelated correlation as a recoverable expenditure. In short, the 24 hrs of staff time/ sheet tracking claimed in relation to this request is unreasonable and unjustified, by even the broadest of terms.
6. Noting the NDIA does not have a policy or procedure for determining what is 'substantial and unreasonable diversion of resources' (FOI 21/22-007), provisional estimates and costing provided here present as very coarse estimates, unsubstantiated and unwarranted. A guess. As a result, this estimate is contestable.

While I can appreciate how other requests and information may take time and resources to consolidate, that does not appear to be the case in this instance.

I thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Shirley

foi, National Disability Insurance Agency

Thank you for contacting the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

 

Freedom of Information

 

If your message is a request for access to documents under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), we will acknowledge it within
14-days of receipt.  We may be in touch with you sooner if your request is
too large or vague.

 

We are committed to processing all requests as quickly as possible.  We
will keep in regular contact with you, especially if there's any delay in
making a decision.

 

Further information about FOI is available on our website:
[1]https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...

 

Please contact us at [2][NDIA request email] if you have any questions or
require help.

 

Participant Information Access

 

If you are an NDIS participant and you are seeking access to your own
personal information, you can make a request online under our Participant
Information Access (PIA) process.

 

To make a request, please complete our online request form:
[3]https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...

 

Please contact us at [4][email address] if you have any
questions or require help.

 

Other enquiries

 

If your message is for something else, you should direct it to
[5][email address].

 

If your message is received outside our business hours of 9am to 5pm
(AEST), Monday to Friday or on a public holiday, we will action it on the
next business day.

 

If your message is urgent, you can call our National Conact Centre on 1800
800 110.

 

Warm regards

 

NDIA FOI Team
Email: [6][email address]

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...
2. mailto:[NDIA request email]
3. https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/policie...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[email address]

foi, National Disability Insurance Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Shirley

 

We write to acknowledge your correspondence dated 12 September 2021 where
you contend that the preliminary assessment of charge contained in the
notice issued to you on 10 September 2021 has been wrongly assessed.

 

We will consider your request under section 29(4) of the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).

 

Processing timeframes

In accordance with section 29(6) of the FOI Act, we will notify you with a
charges decision no later than 30 days from when you raised your charges
contention. You should, therefore, expect our charges decision by 12
October 2021.

 

Further help

Please contact us at [1][NDIA request email] if you have any questions or need
help.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Rafaela

A/g Assistant Director FOI

Parliamentary, Ministerial and FOI Branch

Government Division

National Disability Insurance Agency

E: [2][NDIA request email]

[3]cid:image001.png@01D79A5D.6B39B8E0

 

The NDIA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout
Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to them and their cultures and to Elders past, present
and emerging. 

 

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Shirley please sign in and let everyone know.