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How to make a complaint about CSIRO

CSIRO welcomes feedback on its performance, including complaints.

  • 14 December 2012 | Updated 3 February 2014

CSIRO is committed to providing a high level of service and to conducting its activities ethically and with integrity. This commitment is reflected in our Service Charter and Code of Conduct

CSIRO welcomes feedback on its performance, including complaints.

Complaints can assist CSIRO to evaluate and improve its services.  They can be in relation to any number of matters and may include the actions and conduct of staff.

Making a complaint

In making a complaint it will help if you could explain:

  • what action or decision is the cause of your complaint
  • what specifically is your complaint
  • what are the implications of that decision or action on you 
  • what is the preferred outcome or result you are seeking.

CSIRO will acknowledge your complaint and seek to resolve the matter in a timely manner.

Confidentiality and procedural fairness

Your complaint and your personal information will be kept confidential and will only be disclosed to staff within CSIRO who have a need to know about the complaint for the purposes of responding to you or taking appropriate action.

If you make an anonymous complaint we may not be able to conduct a full investigation of your complaint or be able to refer the matter to the appropriate area.

Reports or allegations of misconduct by CSIRO or a staff member, including fraudulent activity must be in writing with the exception of disclosures by ‘Public Officials’ through the CSIRO Public Interest Disclosure Scheme which may be written or oral.

Please mark all correspondence ‘Confidential’.

Reports or allegations of possible misconduct will be investigated through CSIRO’s misconduct, fraud control or Public Interest Disclosure Scheme processes, or referred to an external body such as the Police, where necessary. 

All complaints involving the conduct or reputation of a staff member will be handled confidentially and in a manner that provides procedural fairness to all involved.

Options available for making a complaint

  1. Minor complaints
  2. General complaints
  3. Complaints about possible misconduct
  4. Public interest disclosures
  5. Privacy and Freedom of Information complaints

i.       Minor complaints

If you have been dealing with CSIRO about a matter and there is a minor problem we suggest you contact the staff member or manager involved to see if it may be resolved informally. 

If this is not possible for any reason please consider one of the following options.

ii.      General complaints

General complaints include but are not limited to complaints or feedback about:

  • CSIRO practices and activities
  • Level or quality of services and products
  • Client, partner and public engagement
  • Health, safety and environmental concerns related to CSIRO activities
  • Actions of CSIRO and its staff members.

A general complaint is not commentary or opinions on CSIRO’s science or policy position.

For general complaints:

Contact: CSIRO Enquiries
Phone: 1300 363 400
Email: enquiries@csiro.au

CSIRO Enquiries will contact the relevant area in CSIRO who will acknowledge and respond to your complaint.

iii.      Complaints about possible misconduct

Where a complaint involves a report or allegation about a possible breach of the CSIRO Code of Conduct (which includes breaches of the law and Government regulations) by CSIRO or a staff member, CSIRO Enquiries will refer the matter to be dealt with through CSIRO’s misconduct process, or CSIRO’s Public Interest Disclosure Scheme, or by Fraud Control.

For advice on how to make a complaint about possible misconduct:

Contact: CSIRO Enquiries
Phone: 1300 363 400

To submit a complaint about possible misconduct in writing:

Email: conductcomplaints@csiro.au

Emails to conductcomplaints@csiro.au will go directly to staff appointed by CSIRO to receive complaints about possible misconduct.

The terms misconduct and fraud are defined below (see Definitions).

iv.      Public interest disclosures

CSIRO has a Public Interest Disclosure Scheme for ‘Public Officials’ to report information that they believe on reasonable grounds tends to show ‘disclosable conduct’ by CSIRO.

The CSIRO Public Interest Disclosure Scheme is open to current and former CSIRO staff members and certain people affiliated with CSIRO as well as staff of CSIRO contracted and subcontracted service providers who are providing goods and services to CSIRO. 

The Scheme is not open to the general public.

The types of ‘disclosable conduct’ that may be reported include conduct which contravenes a law; is corrupt; constitutes maladministration or wastage of public money; an abuse of public trust or position; or endangers health, safety and the environment; and possible misconduct in relation to scientific research, analysis or advice.

Go to CSIRO Public Interest Disclosure Scheme for further details.

v.     Privacy and Freedom of Information complaints

For complaints about the CSIRO Freedom of Information process or Privacy matters:

Contact: foi@csiro.au

Information on the CSIRO Freedom of Information process and your rights is available.

You can also visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) [external link] website for more information on Freedom of Information and Privacy.

Definitions

  1. Misconduct is seen as a breach of the CSIRO Code of Conduct.  The conduct of a staff member may include, for example, concerns about:
    • improper or offensive behaviour
    • improper conduct by a scientist such as deliberate falsification or misrepresentation of research results
    • negligence or carelessness in performing duties
    • provision of false or misleading information
    • waste of or extravagance with or other misuse of CSIRO resources
    • breaking appropriate confidentiality regarding the work of CSIRO or its clients
    • failure to avoid or disclose a conflict of interest.
       
  2. Fraud involves the use of deceit to obtain a benefit or avoid an obligation such as falsifying records, providing misleading information, receiving early payments with authority, and the unauthorised use of equipment. Complaints may be about suspected incidents of fraud against CSIRO or by CSIRO and its staff, and can involve the reporting of suspicious activity.