26 September 2023

New Inspector-General to take on aged care

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A new independent body is to be established to drive transparency and accountability across the Australian aged care sector.

Introducing the Inspector-General of Aged Care Bill 2023, Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells said the Bill would establish an Inspector-General of Aged Care and a supporting Office.

Ms Wells said the independent body would have coercive information gathering powers to review the Commonwealth’s administration and regulation of the aged care system.

“The Bill will give the Inspector-General the necessary powers to investigate systemic issues across the aged care system, including complaints management processes,” Ms Wells said.

“The Inspector-General will report findings and recommendations to Government, to Parliament, and to the public, to facilitate positive change for older Australians,” she said.

“The Inspector-General will also have powers to report on the Government’s implementation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s recommendations.”

Ms Wells said the Office of the Inspector-General of Aged Care would be an independent Agency with oversight of the Government’s administration, regulation and funding of aged care, including the Department of Health and Aged Care, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority, and other services or bodies in the aged care system regulated or funded by the Australian Government.

She said Ian Yates would continue as interim Inspector-General, pending legislation passage, and the appointment of a permanent Inspector-General was expected in the second half of this year.

“Once established, the Inspector-General of Aged Care will have its own website and be independent from the Department,” the Minister said.

“Importantly, the Inspector-General will operate autonomously, at arm’s length from the Australian Government,” she said.

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