Jeff Whalan’s report on the capability of the National Disability Insurance Agency contains two disturbing images. The first is the cover, illustrating Whalan’s conclusion that
“The Agency is like a plane that took off before it had been fully built and is being completed while it is in the air.”
The second is this graph, which shows how quickly the NDIA is supposed to ramp up its operations from 2016.
To stay on track it will be expected to service almost 450,000 customers by 2018-19.
Given the problems identified by Whalan, many of them politically inflicted, the target is fanciful. Yet the federal government is powerless to alter the timetable.
The NDIA answers in effect to a committee – the COAG Standing Council on Disability Reform. Changing the timetable will be up to them.
The NDIA is not NASA, but the Report of the Columbia Investigation Board provides a textbook study on groupthink and the anatomy of a premature launch.
With the Space Shuttle Columbia in orbit, Flight Director Steve Stitch sent this email to Commander Rick Husband and Pilot William McCool:
As the report remarks, “No one at NASA wants to be the one to stand up and say, ‘We can’t make that date’.”
Whalan’s message, in the words of Tom Hanks, is “Houston, we have a problem.”