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Policy on Public Comment by CSIRO Staff

CSIRO's fundamental purpose is to achieve positive impact from science on behalf of Australia. This policy aims to assist CSIRO staff in their external communication activities.

  • 13 July 2006 | Updated 27 November 2013

The core of CSIRO's overall standing is its externally validated and peer-reviewed science, and the communication of that science for the benefit of Australia. Underlying CSIRO's core values is commitment to the open exchange of scientific information. This ten-page policy aims to assist CSIRO staff in their external communication activities.

The six policy statements in the Policy on Public Comment by CSIRO Staff are listed below.

Policy statement 1. Scientists are CSIRO’s frontline communicators. They are encouraged to communicate the outcomes and implications of their scientific work and, where relevant, policy options and scenarios stemming from their scientific findings.

Policy statement 2. Prior to contributing to public debate or to government inquiries CSIRO staff should consult widely within the Organisation, and where diversity of scientific views exists make reference to the range of scientific perspectives held within CSIRO. Staff will comply with CSIRO’s formal procedures and protocols for co-ordination of submissions to government and other inquiries, and, where they exist, associated obligations for confidentiality.

Policy statement 3. CSIRO staff should not advocate, defend or publicly canvass the merits of government or opposition policies (including policies of previous Commonwealth governments, or State or local or foreign governments).

Policy statement 4. If a staff member is commenting in a private capacity, he or she should state clearly that it is a personal opinion rather than an official view of CSIRO.

Policy statement 5. If a staff member intends to comment publicly on behalf of CSIRO, he or she will advise line managers and communication officers. In some circumstances (for example, requests from the media) timeliness of response is important, and in such cases this advice can be provided immediately after comment is made.

Policy statement 6. Comments to the media about the Organisation’s overall directions, operation, strategies and financial position should only be made by appropriately delegated staff.

Read Key policy statements.

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