Prior to 1997 nursing homes were required to disclose how they had spent the money given to them by taxpayers. They complained bitterly about this claiming that it was too "onerous" and "inflexible". They claimed it limited innovation and creativity. The Aged Care Act 1997 abolished all economic accountability.

Prior to 1997, owners and providers of nursing homes were vetted under probity requirements to be sure that their past conduct showed that they were good citizens and could be trusted to care properly for vulnerable people. Citizens with knowledge of bad behavior by an applicant could supply it to the departmental vetting body, and object to the issuing of a license to operate.