Our CSIRO Policy Framework comprises policies, standards, procedures and guidelines.
In 2016, the CSIRO Board approved a change to the Policy Framework to better support the CSIRO Strategy 2020 and streamline the available information for use by CSIRO officers. The new Policy Framework comprises policies, principles and procedures, and will be progressively implemented in 2016–17. This will be supported by our CSIRO Delegations and Authorities Framework.
The policy statements1, approved by our Board, cover our commitment in relation to:
- Science and Delivery
- Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability
- Freedom to Conduct CSIRO Research and Technology Transfer.
The policy statements are reviewed annually to ensure they continue to clearly articulate CSIRO’s commitments.
During 2015–16, the following standards and procedures were introduced or amended.
- Accelerated advancement
- Access control and visitor management
- Advisory Committees
- Authorship and Publishing
- Capital Works Procurement
- Classification appeals
- Collaborative Sites
- Commercial Contracts
- Consultancy procurement
- Contract management
- Contractor HSE2 Management Admin Scientific
- Contractor HSE Management
- Electrical Safety
- Ethical Conduct in Human Research
- Export Control
- Field Work
- First Aid
- Fraud Control
- Goods and Services Procurement
- House Keeping
- HSE Inductions
- Indigenous Cadetship
- Information Security
- International Assignments
- Legal Advice
- Legal Assistance
- Living Allowance
- Lost or Stolen Computing Devices
- Managing Learning and Professional Development
- Managing the Learning Management System
- Miscellaneous Leave
- Mobile Devices
- Motor Vehicles
- Panel arrangement
- Parental Leave
- Personal Computer Fleet management
- Performance cash rewards
- Post-Separation Obligations
- Postgraduate Studentship
- Print and Image Services
- Procurement Exemption
- Procurement Identification and Planning
- Public comment by CSIRO staff
- Recognition (Non-cash) rewards
- Redeployment and redundancy
- Security Alert and Scalable Response System
- Security Clearance and Sustainability Checks
- Senior Staff Rewards
- Software Acquisition and Management
- Term promotion
- Use of Email
- Vacation scholarships scheme
- Classified Document Management
- Contact Reporting Scheme
- CSIRO Event Security
- Due Diligence
- External Complaints Handling
- Lock and Key Management
- Raising Concerns in CSIRO
- Social Media
Ethics and the Code of Conduct
Our CSIRO Code of Conduct sets out the standard of behaviour expected of CSIRO and of everyone working in it. All staff members and CSIRO affiliates are required to undertake training on the Code including on commencement with CSIRO.
In addition, we have procedures for Ethical Conduct In Human Research, and on the Care And Use Of Animals For Scientific Purposes. Our practices comply with national codes and relevant state and federal legislative requirements. CSIRO operates two human research ethics committees to cover its social and interdisciplinary science and health- and medical-related research. These committees review around 200 new projects each year, and provide ongoing monitoring and support for over 350 active projects at any given time. These committees provide independent, expert advice regarding appropriately engaging people and communities in research; and ensuring effective management of issues such as privacy, informed consent and managing risks and benefits flowing from research, throughout all stages of a project’s implementation.
200 new projects undergo human research ethics review and 150 new projects undergo animal research ethics review each year.
CSIRO also operates seven Animal Research Ethics Committees (AECs) that provide review of all CSIRO research involving the care and use of animals. This research covers a diverse range of fields including wildlife conservation, farm animal production, nutrition, disease control and prevention, and human health. Approximately 150 new projects are reviewed each year. AECs also play an active role in monitoring the ongoing care and wellbeing of animals throughout the duration of any research and ensuring CSIRO’s compliance with all regulatory requirements.
During 2015–16, we began a process of integration from across several Business Units to a centralised support function for the governance arrangements for CSIRO’s animal and human ethics. The centralised function is located with the Science and Government Group in the Enterprise Support Services. This shift has provided improved levels of service delivery and support for CSIRO AECs and research staff, and a more consistent approach to regulatory compliance and project oversight.
Assurances about our financial state of affairs, compliance and control environment are provided through a range of processes, including the role of the Internal Audit, Risk, Legal, Fraud Control and Security units; system design and monitoring; compliance reporting by senior managers; and the operation of our CSIRO Public Interest Disclosure Scheme.
From a fraud-control perspective, and as a corporate Commonwealth entity, CSIRO complies with the PGPA Act, which the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2014 underpins. The CSIRO Fraud Control Team continues to review and update CSIRO’s Fraud Risk, Governance and Fraud Control strategies. During 2015–16, there were no instances of fraud reported to or identified by the Fraud Control Team. Across 2015–16, the CSIRO Security Teams continued to progress compliance against the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework and the Information Security Manual, using a risk-based approach in line with our business model. The progress is being overseen by the CSIRO Security Committee and Security Executive, who endorse all changes to security governance and risk mitigation strategies within CSIRO.
Reviews by outside bodies
External audit is provided by the Australian National Audit Office.
The Senate Standing Committees on Economics examines the operations of CSIRO following the Federal Budget, the tabling in Parliament of our CSIRO Annual Report, and the introduction to Parliament of the additional Appropriation Bills. This year, senior executives appeared before the Committee on three occasions and responded to all related questions on notice. The Committee reviewed the Annual Report 2014–15 and commended the CSIRO on its user-friendly annual report3.
The Senate Select Committee into the Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures held a number of hearings in March and April 2016 to investigate the ‘potential ramifications of proposed cuts to the CSIRO’. The committee tabled an interim report on 3 May 2016 which made five recommendations to Government. The Government went into a caretaker period on 9 May 2016 and consideration of the inquiry’s recommendation was deferred until after the caretaker period.
During 2015–16, there were no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals that have had, or may have, a significant effect on the operations of CSIRO.