The Chief Executive conducts the affairs of the Organisation in accordance with the strategy, plans and policies approved by the Board and the Board Directions to the Chief Executive.

The Chief Executive is supported by the Executive Team. As a team and through their individual roles, the members lead, direct, coordinate and control CSIRO’s operations and performance. Details of the members are below under the section Executive Team membership 2012–13.

The Executive Team is assisted by two standing committees, the Science, Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee and the Major Transactions Committee. In addition, a Precinct Oversight Committee steers the implementation of that key element of the CSIRO Strategy. The CSIRO Health, Safety and Environment Committee is accountable to the Chief Executive.

The Executive Management Council of senior managers provides a forum for sharing and discussing issues relating to the management and future strategy for CSIRO.

Planning and monitoring performance

The CSIRO Strategy 2011–15 is the guiding document for planning and monitoring performance (see: CSIRO Strategic Plan 2011–15 [pdf · 3mb]).

The plan outlines the Organisation’s broad objectives, policies and strategies to be achieved by 2015.

In brief, the strategy emphasises CSIRO’s intent to maintain its focus on addressing national challenges and opportunities through an enhanced program of National Research Flagships, and to continue developing Australia’s scientific capability and preparedness by investing in the people and infrastructure required to meet current and future challenges.

Within the context of the Strategy, CSIRO’s portfolio of research is decided through a planning and budgeting process that is guided by the twin imperatives of seeking relevance and impact for Australia.

An Annual Directions Statement (ADS) outlines the Chief Executive’s expectations of, and provides guidance to management for the planning and budgeting cycle.

The first ADS, published in 2012–13, provided direction for development of the four-year organisational budget and operational planning for the 2013–14 financial year.

It should be read in conjunction with, and complements, our 2011–15 Strategic Plan by linking long-term goals with short-term planning priorities designed to address current circumstances.

In accordance with the requirements of the SIR Act, the annual Operational Plan (see: CSIRO Operational Plan 2012-13 [pdf · 3mb], DOC [doc · 1mb]) sets out the strategies CSIRO proposes to pursue; the activities CSIRO proposes to carry out; and the resources CSIRO proposes to allocate to these activities.

Specifically, it includes the annual delivery targets set by the Executive Team and agreed by the Board for the financial year in the form of Key Executive Actions (KEAs).

To ensure the Organisation is on track the Executive Team and Board receive regular updates on how CSIRO is performing against these plans, as well as regular performance reports against the annual KEAs, the Strategic Plan Enterprise Strategy Measures, CSIRO’s Portfolio Budget Statements and other internal performance indicators.

The quality of our research is subject to scientific peer review mechanisms and the Chief Executive conducts an annual review of all research Portfolios including the Flagships, Divisions and Enterprise Functions.

In addition, our Divisions and Flagships are periodically reviewed by panels chaired by independent experts who assess the strength of our capability as well as the relevance and impact of our research. The findings of those reviews can be found in Program 1.

Risk management

CSIRO’s Risk Policy recognises that the identification and management of risk is central to delivering the functions of CSIRO and delivering benefits to Australia.

CSIRO’s risk management framework provides the methodology by which CSIRO’s risk profile is articulated and regularly updated. It also sets out the responsibilities of all individuals across CSIRO, including the Board and management for identifying and managing risk.

The framework is being progressively integrated into CSIRO’s business activities and processes at all levels of the Organisation. In 2012–13, this integration involved enhanced risk identification, management and reporting at the executive level of the Organisation.

Risks are managed on an enterprise basis through mitigation strategies that include, in appropriate circumstances, insurance to transfer the financial impact of risk.

General insurance including General Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance and Directors and Officers Liability insurance is through Comcover. CSIRO’s workers’ compensation liability is covered by a premium paid to Comcare.

Advisory mechanisms

CSIRO’s Strategic Advisory Committees (SACs) provide advice on CSIRO’s longer-term strategic directions and research and development priorities and on how CSIRO can meet the research, technical and business needs of customers or communities.

The advice provided by the SACs may be complemented by Flagship Advisory Committees that focus more specifically on how to maximise the effectiveness of the Flagship portfolio to achieve its goals. The Committees comprise representatives from industry, government, non-government organisations and other stakeholders.

Committee details can be found at: Strategic Advisory Committees and Flagship Advisory Committees.

Policies, standards and procedures

The CSIRO Policy Framework comprises policies, standards and procedures. It is supported by the CSIRO Delegations and Authorities Framework.

The policy statements, approved by the Board, cover CSIRO’s commitment in relation to:

  • Science and Delivery
  • People
  • Governance
  • Risk
  • Health, Safety, Environmental Sustainability and the Community.

In 2012–13, the Board also reconfirmed CSIRO’s policy on Freedom to Conduct CSIRO Research and Technology Transfer.

Standards and procedures introduced or amended this year include:


  • Risk


  • Freedom of Information
  • Information security
  • Major projects
  • Managing learning and professional development
  • Membership and sponsorship
  • Purchase and use of books and information resources
  • Risk.

A number of human resources and health, safety and environment procedures were amended as a result of the Improvement Notice issued by Comcare in 2012 as shown under Health and safety.

In addition, guidelines were released on topics such as cybersecurity whilst travelling overseas and on the personal use of social media.

Ethics and the Code of Conduct

The CSIRO Code of Conduct sets out the standard of behaviour expected of CSIRO and of everyone working in CSIRO. The Code aligns with our Values Compass and is a key component of our staff induction program.

In addition, CSIRO has procedures on ethical conduct in human research and on the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. CSIRO’s practices comply with national codes and relevant state and federal legislative requirements.

Internal controls

Assurances about the Organisation’s 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 a Whistleblower Scheme.

CSIRO complies with Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines (revised 2011). A Fraud Risk Assessment was completed in May 2012 and a revised Fraud Control Plan was released in September 2013.

CSIRO is transitioning towards meeting the mandatory requirements of the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) and the Information Security Manual. The Organisation is approaching compliance based on our business model and will have a risk based approach to addressing non-compliant areas.

Progress is being overseen by the CSIRO Security Committee and Executive Team, who endorse all changes to security procedures within CSIRO.

In June 2013, Internal Audit completed a compliance audit against the mandatory requirements contained within the PSPF. The results of the audit will inform the PSPF Ministerial Compliance Report to be submitted to the Chief Executive for approval in August 2013.

Reviews by outside bodies

External audit is provided by the Australian National Audit Office.

During 2012–13, there were no reports on the operations of CSIRO by the Auditor-General (other than on the financial statements), a Parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

The Senate Standing Committee on Economics examines the operations of CSIRO following the Federal Budget and the tabling in Parliament of the CSIRO Annual Report. This year senior executives appeared before the Committee on three occasions and responded to all related questions on notice.

The Committee reviewed the 2011–12 Annual Report and provided comments which have been addressed in this report.

Judicial decisions

During 2012–13, there were no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals that have had, or may have, a significant affect on the operations of CSIRO.

Executive Team membership 2012–13

From left to right, back row on stairs to front row: Dr Tom Hatton PSM, Ms Hazel Bennett, Mr Mike Whelan, Mr Craig Roy, Dr Alastair Robertson, Dr Calum Drummond, Dr Andrew Johnson, Mr Rod Bloom, Dr Megan Clark (Chief Executive), Dr David Williams.  ©

Dr Megan Clark
BSc (Hons) PhD Hon DSc Hon DApSc FTSE GAICD
Chief Executive

Mr Craig Roy
Deputy Chief Executive, Science, Strategy and People

Mr Mike Whelan
Deputy Chief Executive, Operations

Mr Rod Bloom
Executive Director, Development

Ms Hazel Bennett
Chief Finance Officer
(Executive Director, Finance and Services from 1 July 2013)

Dr Calum Drummond
BSc (Ed) BSc (Hons) PhD FTSE, FAICD, FRACI, CChem
Group Executive, Manufacturing, Materials and Minerals

Dr Tom Hatton PSM
Group Executive, Energy

Dr Andrew Johnson
BAgrSc (Hons) PhD MPA
Group Executive, Environment

Dr Alastair Robertson
Group Executive, Food, Health and Life Science Industries

Dr David Williams
Group Executive, Information Sciences (from November 2012)

Mr Nigel Poole
Acting Group Executive, Information Sciences (to November 2012)

Executive Team profiles are available at: Executive Team.

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