Australia Telescope Steering Committee Charter

The Committee assists the Board to fulfil its governance responsibilities through the provision high level advice on the delivery of radio astronomy capabilities for the nation.

Purpose

The purpose of the Australia Telescope Steering Committee (ATSC) is to assist the Board to fulfil its governance responsibilities through the provision of high level advice on the ongoing delivery of radio astronomy capabilities for the nation.

The Committee will manage the delivery of the:

  • Strategic directions with reference to the Australian and international scientific and political context;
  • Allocation of time on the Facility; and
  • Performance of the Facility.

Specific responsibilities

In fulfilling its purpose, the Committee will:

  • Provide high-level advice to the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) Director and more broadly, to CSIRO on:
    • Strategic directions, with reference to the Australian and international scientific and political context;
    • Allocation of time on the Facility; and
    • Performance of the Facility.
  • Act as advocates for the ATNF and for Australia’s astronomy activities with its many stakeholders within Australia and internationally. They will promote the wide and effective use of the Facility, and raise awareness of the Facility and the research that it supports in a wide range of forums.
  • Support the Board’s expectation that the CSIRO’s role in the operation of the ATNF will be appropriately recognised in activities undertaken by the ATSC imparting a positive reputation for the organisation.

With respect to the allocation of time for access and use of the Facility:

  • There will be no guaranteed allocation of research time on the Australia Telescope for any users including CSIRO staff. Use of the Facility for astronomical research will be based on an independent assessment of scientific merit and technical feasibility.
  • The ATSC will appoint an independent Time Assignment Committee (TAC) with membership drawn from the Australian (and if feasible, international) astronomy community to assess proposals for the scientific use of the facility.
  • The ATSC will advise the ATNF Director on the appropriate policy guidelines for the TAC.
  • The ATNF Director is responsible for coordination of the TAC process and will provide administrative support to the TAC.
  • Scheduling of the Facility will be consistent with the scientific priorities determined by the TAC, and is the responsibility of the ATNF Director.
  • Use of Facility time by CSIRO staff for purposes other than research, such as maintenance of the facility or testing new equipment, will be determined by the ATNF Director.

With respect to user input and feedback:

  • The ATSC will appoint an Australia Telescope User Committee (ATUC) to provide input and feedback on performance of the Facility to the ATNF Director from the scientific users of the ATNF.
  • The ATSC will advise the ATNF Director on the appropriate policy guidelines for the ATUC.

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