Senate Order 13 for Entity Contracts

Senate Order 13 requires that, twice a year, Commonwealth entities publish details of individual contracts with a total value of $100,000 (GST inclusive) or more.

For the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 (FY2020-21), the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA or ‘the Agency’) identified 1,710 individual contracts that met the requirements of Senate Order 13.

The Senate Order 13 requirements determine that the commitment amount for each individual contract may cover multiple years, with a high degree of unevenness in the period covered. For instance, it might be one, two or more years, with significant disparity in the start and end dates. On its own, information in such a format does not provide insight on a specific period, nor can it be easily added or compared because of the various timeframes that are covered. 

The information provided in the Senate Order 13 should be considered in the context of significant growth in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS or ‘the Scheme’). 

The 2021 Financial Year saw the number of participants who joined the Scheme increase by 74,620. This brings the total participants in the scheme to 466,619 as at 30 June 2021. 

The Scheme remains the largest national social reform since the introduction of Medicare. The scale, pace and nature of the changes are unprecedented in Australia. 

The continued and ongoing support for participants through reasonable and necessary support decision making is impacting the lives of those with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers.  

This is a considerable achievement for the Scheme, especially when considered in light of continuation of services despite challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Order 13 (August 2021)

For the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 (FY2020-21), the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA or ‘Agency’) identified 1,710 individual contracts that meet the requirements of the Senate Order 13, also referred to as the Murray Motion. 

In addition to the Agency’s publishing the total commitment value for each contract, as per the requirements of the Senate Order 13, the consideration paid under each contract is also included. The consideration paid within the listing represents expenditure under each contract for the reporting period. 

The Senate Order 13 only requires contracts which are valued at or over $100,000 (GST inclusive), and that also meet specific date requirements (during the reporting period), causing aggregated expenditure and total commitment values to differ from the Agency’s Financial Statements. 

To provide greater insight and transparency, the Agency provides Table 1 (below) which places overall expenditure for contracts reportable under Senate Order 13 alongside actual Agency expenditure for the same reporting timeframe. For comparison purposes, Table 1 provides actual Agency expenditure for the categories relevant to the Senate Order 13 for the past three financial years (FY).

In the table below:

  • MM is Murray Motion expenditure
  • AFE is Actual Financial Expenditure
Table 1: Includes expenditure categories relevant to the Senate Order 13 for FY2018-19, FY2019-20 and FY2020-21
Expenditure category
(consideration paid)
1 Jul 2020 – 30 Jun 2021 (MM) % spend 1 Jul 2020 – 30 Jun 2021 (AFE) % spend 1 Jul 2019 – 30 Jun 2020 (AFE) % spend 1 Jul 2018 – 30 Jun 2019 (AFE) % spend
Temporary staffing and/or recruitment support $151,815,000 55 $190,145,000 36 $246,900,000 47 $258,172,000 55
Service delivery (LAC or ECEI) $31,122,000 11 $97,645,000 18 $38,580,000 7 $20,524,000 4
Call centre $33,444,000 12 $30,404,000 6 $31,187,000 6 $23,634,000 5
Consultancies $4,611,000 2 $10,427,000 2 $15,572,000 3 $35,719,000 8
Legal services $12,488,000 4 $21,459,000 4 $23,243,000 5 $10,045,000 2
Training development and management $399,000 0 $3,186,000 1 $4,321,000 1 $5,107,000 1
Translation and interpreting services $5,106,000 2 $7,142,000 1 $5,360,000 1 $1,708,000 0
Other $39,601,000 14 $168,974,000 32 $155,532,000 30 $117,542,000 25
Total $278,309,000 100 $529,382,000 100 $520,695,000 100 $472,450,000 100

When interpreting Table, it should be noted that:

  • Murray Motion reporting is inclusive of GST and Actual Financial Expenditure is exclusive of GST.
  • Aggregated expenditure numbers for contracts reportable under the Senate Order 13 only reflects a subset of total Agency expenditure.
  • The Agency’s actual expenditure for each reporting period will not directly align with expenditure categories in the Financial Statements, as the expenditure categories shown within Table 1 only reflects categories used within the Senate Order 13. 
  • Service Delivery Grants awarded to Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) and LAC providers are not captured as part of Table 1. They are, however, included in the Listing. 

The NDIA response to Senate Order 13 Listing schedule provides expenditure figures for the six months January 2021 to June 2021, comparison to the expenditure provided at Table 1 can be made by reviewing prior period “listing” submissions.


  • The number of participants in the Scheme increased 20% in FY2020-21 to 466,619 with financial expenditure for the reported categories increasing by 1.6%, reflecting management’s continued focus on operational cost efficiencies. Senate Order 13 reportable contract value decreased 9% from FY2019-20.

Temporary Staffing and/or Recruitment Services

  • In FY2020-21 there was a 23% reduction in Temporary Staffing and/or Recruitment Services expenditure, reflecting a change in the resourcing mix as the Agency matures and invests in more efficient processes.
  • The use of temporary labour and contracting staff remains an important resource pool, enabling the Agency to respond quickly to participant needs and changing operating environments. 

Service Delivery (Partners in the Community - Local Area Coordination or Early Childhood Early Intervention Partners) 

  • Expenditure on Service Delivery occurs through a mix of both contracts and grants. For ease of comparison across all expenditure categories Table 1 includes only contract expenditure.
  • As seen in Table 1, Actual Financial Expenditure for Service Delivery has increased from $38.58m in FY2019-20 to $97.645m in FY2020-21. This reflects a change in mix from grants to contracts, noting that the Total Actual cost for both contracts and grants as reported in the Agency’s Financial Statements is flat year on year.

Call Centres 

  • Expenditure for call centres remains stable with some timing variation in recognition of financial expenditure.


  • Expenditure for consultancies decreased by 33% in FY2020-21 reflecting the increasing maturity of the Agency and the continued development of its internal resource capability. 

Legal Services 

  • The 8% reduction in Legal Services expenditure reflects the Agency’s continued effort to reduce the cost of legal advice by investing in its internal resources and streamlining current work practices. The difference between these is largely due to <$100k.

Training Development and Management 

  • Expenditure in this category reduced by 26% in FY2020-21, in part, due to COVID-19 related limitations with online delivery less expensive than face to face.
  • Training delivered during this period included disability-specific learning and an ongoing investment in leadership and managing change across the Agency, together with COVID-19 specific health and safety requirements. 

Translation and Interpreting Services

  • Expenditure for translation and interpreting services increased by 33%, in FY 2020-21 with more participants requiring access to these supports. Braille translations and Auslan interpreting services were used regularly to facilitate COVID-19 messaging across the Agency enabling more inclusive communication.


  • The ‘Other’ category covers a range of Agency expenditure, including software services, expenses associated with leases, storage and warehousing, and, vehicles and insurance. 
  • These contracts include essential infrastructure spending associated with the roll-out of the NDIS.
This page current as of
31 August 2021