CSIRO is governed by a Board1, which is responsible to the Australian Government for the overall strategy, governance and performance of our organisation

The Board comprises nine part-time, non-executive members including the Chairman, and a full-time Chief Executive. At June 2018, there was one vacancy on the Board. All non-executive members are appointed by the Governor-General. The Chief Executive is appointed by the CSIRO Board, in consultation with the Minister.

In 2017–18, our Board operated in part through three standing committees and one sub-committee:

  • Board Audit and Risk Committee
  • Board People, Health and Safety Committee
  • Board Science Excellence Committee
  • Board Innovation Fund Sub-Committee.

On appointment, Board members receive a formal induction on the organisation and their duties. Members maintain their professional development and participate in visits to CSIRO sites as well as governance and business briefings. In the pursuit of their duties, Board members may seek independent professional advice and have access to CSIRO senior management.

Under its Charter and Operating Guidelines, the CSIRO Board reviews its performance, composition and skill base at regular intervals to ensure it is operating efficiently, effectively and with regard for the principles of good corporate governance. A review of Board performance is usually conducted at least every 18 months, with the next review to be undertaken in 2019.

Details of Board members, including qualifications and terms of appointment, are below. Details of remuneration, and attendance at meetings are shown in the financial statements (Part 5).

Board membership

CSIRO Board. From L to R: Prof Edwina Cornish AO; Dr Peter Riddles; Dr Larry Marshall; Prof Tanya Monro; Mr David Thodey AO, CSIRO Board Chairman; Mr David Knox; Ms Shirley In’t Veld, Deputy Chair; Mr Hutch Ranck; Dr Michele Allan; Mr Drew Clarke AO.

Board qualifications and experience

Prof Edwina Cornish AO: BSc (Hons) PhD FTSE AICD (26 November 2015 to 25 November 2020)

Professor Edwina Cornish AO brings vast experience in the interface between government, research, science and the higher education sector, and is an experienced board member with strong business, industry and financial skills. Professor Cornish played a key role in building one of Australia’s first biotechnology companies, Florigene Limited, which developed and successfully commercialised the world’s first genetically modified flowers under her leadership. In 2014 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, in part for her advances in biotechnology and horticultural genetic modification.

Dr Peter Riddles: BSc (Hons), PhD, Grad Dip Bus FAICD, Company Director (24 April 2014 to 23 April 2017; 24 April 17 to 23 April 2022)

Dr Riddles began his career as a research scientist in molecular biology holding positions at the University of Queensland, Stanford University and the CSIRO. Since then, he has provided leadership to diverse organisations including biotechnology start-up companies, industry organisations, and University Commercial Offices. His current priorities include working with clinical entrepreneurs in enterprise creation and maintaining an interest in innovation policy and practice. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts (FRSA) (UK), a Member of Chatham House (UK), and a Fellow of the California Technology Council (CA, USA). Other current roles include Member of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) in Australia, Director of The Hear and Say Centre for Deaf Children (Brisbane, Australia), Advisor to digital health start-up BetterBySport (Bern, Switzerland) and Member of the Council of Reference to Academic Health Solutions (London, UK).

Dr Larry Marshall: BSc (Hons) PhD GAICD FTSE (1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016; 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2020)

Dr Marshall is a scientist, technology innovator and business leader with more than 25 years’ experience in creating new value and impact with science. Dr Marshall has more than 100 peer reviewed publications and conference papers, holds 20 patents, has founded six successful United States companies in biotechnology, photonics, telecommunications and semiconductors, and has served on 20 boards of high tech companies operating in the US, Australia and China.

Prof Tanya Monro: BSc (Hons) PhD FAA FTSE FOSA FAIP GAICD, Company Director (25 February 2016 to 24 February 2021)

Professor Tanya Monro is Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation and ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow, University of South Australia. She received a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, University of Southampton, was the Inaugural Director: Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, University of Adelaide. Awards include: Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, the Bragg Gold Medal (best Physics PhD in Australia), South Australia’s “Australian of the Year”, Scopus Young Researcher of the Year, South Australian Scientist of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year. Tanya is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). She is a board member on the Prime Minister’s Commonwealth Science Council, the AAS National Committee for Physics and the South Australian Economic Development Board

Mr David Thodey AO: BA FAICD, Company Director (15 October 2015 to 14 October 2020)

Mr Thodey was the CEO of Telstra from May 2009 to April 2015, and prior to that had a 22-year career with IBM, working in senior marketing and sales positions, including CEO of IBM Australia/New Zealand. He is the Chair of Jobs for NSW Fund and Special Advisor to Square Peg Capital. Former board memberships include co-chair of the Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce of the B20 leadership group, and Chairman of IBM ANZ, TelstraClear, Information Technology (IT) Skills Hub, Industry Groups and Basketball Australia.

Mr David Knox: BSc (Hons) Mech Eng MBA FIE Aust FTSE GAICD, Company Director (5 May 2016 to 4 May 2019)

David Knox is an oil and gas industry executive and former Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Santos Limited from 2008–2015. David was previously Managing Director for BP Developments in Australasia from 2003 to 2007. He has worked for BP in the United Kingdom and Pakistan, and has held management and engineering positions at ARCO and Shell in the USA, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Norway. David is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland and has a BSc Hons in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. He is a fellow of ATSE, and FIEAust and a graduate of the AICD. David is a Director of Migration Council Australia and a Member of the Commonwealth Science Council and the Royal Institution of Australia Council. David also sits on the boards of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium and the Adelaide Festival.

Ms Shirley In’t Veld: BCom LLB FAICD, Company Director (28 June 2012 to 27 June 2015; 28 June 2015 to 27 June 2020)

Ms Shirley In’t Veld is a Non-Executive Director of DUET Group & Juniper Uniting Church Community. She is Chairperson of the Sustainability Committee of Asciano, and is a Council member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (WA) and the SMART Infrastructure Facility (University of Wollongong). She is also a member of the CSIRO Energy Strategic Advisory Committee, Member of the Board of Perth Airport, a Panel Member of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Review and Chairman of the Queensland Government, Electricity Expert Panel.

Mr Hutch Ranck: BSc Economics FAICD, Company Director (1 May 2011 to 30 April 2016; 5 May 2016 to 4 May 2018) – Term now completed

Mr Hutch Ranck has over three decades of diverse business experience both as a senior executive and as a board member. He is currently the Chairman of Elders Limited, a Director of Innotegic Pty Ltd and Iluka Resources.

Dr Michele Allan: BAppSc MMgtTec MCommLaw DBA FAICD, Company Director (5 May 2016 to 4 May 2019)

Dr Michele Allan is a food industry and agribusiness specialist who has held senior executive and director positions in the food and education sectors, and has an academic background in biomedical science, management and law. Dr Allan is the current Chair of the Board of Meat and Livestock Australia, Charles Sturt University,Apple and Pear Australia and Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council. Her current board positions include Innovation and Science Australia, Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, Grain Growers Limited, Nuffield Australia and is a member of the Cooperative Research Centres Advisory Committee.

Mr Drew Clarke AO: PSM BAppSc (Surveying) MSc GAICD FTSE, Company Director (24 August 2017 to 23 August 2022)

Mr Clarke has served for more than 20 years in senior roles in the Australian Public Service, including as Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and Secretary of the Department of Communications. His last executive role was as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister. In 2009 Mr Clarke was awarded a Public Service Medal for his energy policy work, and in 2016 was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration. Mr Clarke is Chairman of the Australian Energy Market Operator Board and a director on the NBNCo Board. He has been an ex officio member of the Industry Research and Development Board (as Executive General Manager of AusIndustry), Chair of ANZLIC – the Spatial Information Council, Chair of the COAG Energy Council Standing Committee of Officials, a Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information and a member of the International Energy Agency Governing Board.

CSIRO Executive Management

The Chief Executive conducts the affairs of the organisation in accordance with CSIRO’s strategy, plans and policies approved by the Board as well as the Board Directions to the Chief Executive.

Our Chief Executive is supported by our Executive Team (ET). As a team and through their individual roles, the members lead, direct, coordinate and control CSIRO’s operations and performance.

This year we restructured our ET to more directly connect to our people and science. The Deputy Chief Executive role ceased to exist following the departure of its incumbent. Two new Executive Director roles were created. The Executive Director People will focus on growing our talent, building strong internal succession, and equipping our people to navigate a rapidly changing world. The Executive Director Growth will lead business development and commercialisation, more directly connecting leaders to the opportunities and challenges for our business model. Data61’s CEO joined the team to build on CSIRO’s unique ‘digital plus industry’ expertise.

This year, and in accordance with the Executive Team Charter, the ET developed the Corporate Plan 2018–19 and Budget. The ET is assisted by two standing committees:

  • The Science, Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee (SICOM) supports the ET to direct and control the organisation’s strategic science, capability, investment and impact planning.
  • The Major Transactions Committee (MTC) provides governance oversight on CSIRO’s involvement in major transactions, and related matters and investments.

During 2017–18, SICOM met in session four times. The MTC held 28 meetings, including six out-of-session meetings. Our CSIRO Leadership Team of senior managers provides a forum for sharing and discussing issues relating to the management and future strategy for CSIRO.

CSIRO Executive Management. From L to R: Dr Peter Mayfield: Executive Director Environment, Energy and Resources, BE (Hons) PhD Dr David Williams: Executive Director Digital, National Facilities and Collections, BSc (Hons) PhD Dr John Manners (ex-Officio): Director CSIRO Agriculture and Food, BSc (Hons) PhD Director Ms Hazel Bennett: Chief Operating Officer, BSc (Hons) ACA FCPA GAICD FAIM (until 29 June 2018) Dr Larry Marshall: Chief Executive, BSc (Hons) PhD GAICD FTSE Dr Anita Hill: Chief Scientist and Executive Director Future Industries, BEng (Hons) MSc PhD FTSE GAICD Mr Craig Roy: Deputy Chief Executive, BSc MSc MBA FAICD (until 1 April 2018) Absent: Mr Trevor Heldt: Executive Director People, BA CPHR (acting, from 2 April 2018) Mr Adrian Turner (ex-Officio): CEO Data61 Mr Nigel Warren: Executive Director Growth, BIB MAICD (acting, from 2 April 2018)

Remuneration of Executives and staff earning above $200,001 per annum

From 2016–17, CSIRO, along with other Australian Government agencies, is providing greater transparency of senior executive and staff earnings above $200,001 per annum. The following tables outline annual reportable remuneration including gross payments, reportable fringe benefits, reportable employer superannuation, allowances, bonuses and at-risk salary components.

Table 4.1: AVERAGE ANNUAL REPORTABLE REMUNERATION PAID TO SUBSTANTIVE EXECUTIVES IN 2017–18
TOTAL REMUNERATION EXECUTIVES (NO) AVERAGE REPORT-ABLE SALARY ($) AVERAGE CONTRIBUTED SUPER-ANNUATION ($) AVERAGE ALLOWANCES ($) AVERAGE BONUS PAID ($) AVERAGE TOTAL REMUNER-ATION ($)
$200,000
and less
3 86,662 10,398 - 5,167 102,227
- - - - - - -
$250,001 to $275,000 3 224,079 36,644 - 10,425 271,148
$275,001 to $300,000 2 241,014 30,703 - 17,715 289,432
$300,001 to $325,000 1 254,061 40,483 - 16,860 311,404
$325,001 to $350,000 2 277,960 42,449 - 17,873 338,281
- - - - - - -
$375,001 to $400,000 1 350,931 20,049 - 25,050 396,029
$400,001 to $425,000 2 337,867 50,500 - 23,396 411,763
$425,001 to $450,000 1 400,107 20,049 - 17,745 437,901
- - - - - - -
$475,001 to $500,000 1 387,605 68,277 - 25,410 481,291
- - - - - - -
$650,001 to $675,000 1 535,077 94,254 - 25,050 654,382
- - - - - - -
$850,001 to $875,000 1 664,916 20,049 - 173,312 858,277
Total number of executives 18
TABLE 4.2: AVERAGE ANNUAL REPORTABLE REMUNERATION PAID TO SUBSTANTIVE STAFF EARNING ABOVE $200,001 IN 2017–18
TOTAL REMUNERATION STAFF (NO) AVERAGE REPORT-ABLE SALARY ($) AVERAGE CONTRIBUTED SUPER-ANNUATION ($) AVERAGE ALLOWANCES ($) AVERAGE BONUS PAID ($) AVERAGE TOTAL REMUNER-ATION ($)
$200,001 to $225,000 101 178,447 29,880 - 2,662 210,989
$225,001 to $250,000 59 197,661 31,387 - 6,809 235,857
$250,001 to $275,000 29 214,651 35,056 - 11,491 261,198
$275,001 to $300,000 5 234,186 36,047 - 14,925 285,158
$300,001 to $325,000 7 264,161 37,193 - 8,845 310,199
$325,001 to $350,000 5 281,540 4,4018 - 14,302 339,859
$350,001 to $375,000 4 282,419 44,575 - 33,735 360,729
Total number of substantive staff 210

Disclosure of interests and related entity transactions

Board members and the Chief Executive declare material interests in accordance with the SIR Act and PGPA Act. The Board Governance document contains processes for managing conflicts of interest including a requirement that members absent themselves from discussions and voting where a member has declared a material personal interest, or where a potential or actual conflict of interest or duty arises.

In 2017–18, the Board considered the following transactions where a Board member was also a director on the entity involved in the transaction:

  • Board 203 Item 5.2, Strategic Alliance with Australian Meat Processors Co (AMPC) – Dr Michele Allan did not receive a copy of the paper and was absent from the Board discussion due to her conflict of duty as Chair of the MLA and the AMPC receiving funding from MLA.

There have been 213 transactions involving entities related to CSIRO above $10,000 which came to a total combined value of $21.34 million.

Risk management

CSIRO is committed to effectively identifying and managing risk as a vital part of successfully capturing the opportunities created through scientific research and delivering on our purpose under the SIR Act. CSIRO undertakes research activities that involve challenging and highly technical science. This inherently carries a significant level of risk. As such, we actively identify, monitor and manage strategic and operational risks that may impact the health, safety and security of our people, the environments in which we operate, the integrity and excellence of our science, the long-term financial sustainability of our organisation and our ability to attract and retain the people that undertake and support our science.

CSIRO manages risk at all levels of the organisation and the management of those risks is the responsibility of all our people. Risk represents one of five organisational policy statements and is supported by our Risk Framework, methodology and approach, which is grounded in and compliant with both the international standard AS/NZS ISO 31000 Risk Management Principles and Guidelines and aligned to the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy.

Our Risk Framework is applied to capture and report risks at the Enterprise, Business Unit/Functional and activity levels within CSIRO. In 2017, CSIRO recognised that while this framework has supported the organisation well, we must continually evolve and improve our approach to strengthen the development of a strong risk culture that supports taking risks mindfully to deliver innovation for Australia. We have therefore undertaken a program of improvement to increase our risk maturity through strengthening the integration of risk into our most critical business processes and enhancing risk capability across the organisation, particularly within our Business Units and in the execution of projects.

CSIRO’s Organisational Risk Profile is updated annually to reflect our main strategic and operational risks in alignment with our strategy. It articulates how we manage our key risks at an enterprise level. The Profile is developed in a consultative and considered manner involving extensive engagement with organisational leaders across the Executive and all Business Units and Functions as well as conducting an internal and external environmental scan that considers external, strategic and internally generated risks with the potential to impact the achievement of CSIRO’s objectives. Consistent with our objective to increase risk maturity, in coming years we will continue to deepen the level of engagement and analysis that supports the development of the Profile.

In 2017, the Organisational Risk Profile was endorsed at the November Board Audit and Risk Committee meeting and was formally approved by the Board in November 2017. From 2018 this will become a bi-annual process. Updates to the profile are reported through to the ET and Board on a monthly basis. Key risk activities are regularly reported through to the Board Audit and Risk Committee. An Issues Management Team, comprised of business unit and functional leaders, convenes each week to identify, assess and manage issues that have organisational importance. CSIRO’s Situation Management Framework supports the management of issues.

General insurance, including General Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance, is provided through Comcover. CSIRO’s worker’s compensation liability is covered through a Comcare premium.

Advisory mechanisms

Our Advisory Committees provide advice on our longer-term strategic directions and research and development priorities and on how we can meet the research, technical and business needs of customers and communities. The committees meet at least twice a year, or more regularly if required. The advice provided by these committees relates to the effectiveness of our businesses to achieve their goals. The committees comprise representatives from industry, government, non-government organisations and other stakeholders.

Policies, principles and procedures

The CSIRO Policy Framework comprises policies, principles and procedures. The policies, approved by our Board, reflect CSIRO’s commitment in relation to:

  • People
  • Science and Delivery
  • Governance
  • Risk
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability
  • Freedom to Conduct CSIRO Research and Technology Transfer
  • Child Safety
  • Finance.

The current CSIRO Policy Reform Project supports the continual streamlining of policies, principles and procedures in CSIRO, and is intended to lead to improved transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in the daily work of all staff.

Ethics and the Code of Conduct

The CSIRO Code of Conduct sets out the standard of behaviour expected of CSIRO staff and others working in the organisation. All staff members and CSIRO affiliates are required to undertake training on the Code on commencement and every two years.

Ethical conduct is a priority for CSIRO and we have procedures for Ethical Conduct in Human Research, and Animal Welfare regarding the care and use of animals in scientific research. Our practices comply with national codes and relevant state and national 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 about 230 new projects each year and provide ongoing monitoring and support for over 400 active projects at any given time. The committees provide independent, expert advice regarding appropriate engagement of people and communities in research and the use of human data. They ensure the effective management of issues such as privacy, informed consent and managing risks and benefits flowing from research.

CSIRO operates five Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) that review CSIRO use of animals in research. This covers a range of fields including wildlife conservation, farm animal production, nutrition, disease control and prevention and human health. Approximately 116 new projects are reviewed each year. AECs also play an active role in monitoring the care and wellbeing of animals during any research and ensure CSIRO’s compliance with all regulatory requirements. Ongoing support and monitoring is provided for over 220 projects at any given time.

We provide targeted training programs on human and animal research ethics to staff and ethics committee members each year to ensure capability levels for responsible research practice are supported and maintained. We also provide online resources to support best practice. In 2017–18, we began a review of CSIRO’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Conduct of Human Research procedures.

Internal controls

CSIRO complies with section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule), which requires CSIRO to establish and maintain an effective fraud control framework. CSIRO’s Fraud and Corruption Control Plan comprises strategies to prevent, detect, respond and report to fraud and corruption affecting CSIRO, and is complemented by CSIRO policy and procedures, system and internal controls, financial management, assurance and accountability activities, and an Enterprise Risk framework. CSIRO adheres to the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017’s Fraud Rule, and in line with fraud control best practice, endeavours to apply the Fraud Policy and Fraud Guidance. CSIRO is committed to nurturing an anti-fraud culture, which is predicated on predicting, pre-empting and preventing fraud and misconduct affecting our organisation.

CSIRO adopts elements of both the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) and Information Security Manual (ISM) to inform the organisation’s Security Frameworks, comprising both Protective and ICT security elements. CSIRO Security has reviewed the organisation’s Risk Appetite Statements and Tolerance Levels, guided by the Enterprise Risk Framework, from which CSIRO will proceed to implement agreed management actions through an endorsed Enterprise Security Program.

We continue to embed Cyber and ICT Security within CSIRO to support our strategy to demonstrate to our customers that we are a trusted advisor.

Reviews by outside bodies

External audit is provided by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). In 2017, ANAO conducted a review of CSIRO’s corporate plan to assess our progress in implementing the corporate planning requirements under the PGPA Act. The ANAO made three specific recommendations relating to CSIRO. CSIRO accepted the recommendations and committed to implementation starting with the development of the 2018–19 CSIRO Corporate Plan.

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

Judicial decisions

During 2017–18, there were no judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals that have had, or may have, a significant effect on the operations of CSIRO.

Enterprise agreements

Enterprise agreements set the terms and conditions of employment for CSIRO staff. Two enterprise agreements are in operation: the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 and the CDSCC Enterprise Agreement 2014–2017.

The CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2017–2020 came in to operation on 14 August 2017. It reaches its nominal expiry date on 14 November 2020.

The CDSCC Enterprise Agreement reached its nominal expiry date on 18 June 2017. Following a period of negotiations and subsequent staff ballot, the proposed new agreement was not successful. Negotiations will resume.

  1. The Board Charter and other details are at: Minister and Board.

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