As previously stated to The Australian newspaper in February 2020:
- Dr Cai is not a Thousand Talents Plan Scholar.
- Dr Cai is an Honorary Chief Scientist (Honorary Aoshan Talent) with the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology.
- Dr Cai’s only paid engagement is as a CSIRO employee, where he is the Director of the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research.
CSIRO is highly cognisant of issues regarding foreign interference and has strong security arrangements and systems in place to address the associated risks.
As a globally-connected science agency, CSIRO collaborates extensively with other research institutes and has processes in place to evaluate these issues before research programs are agreed to. CSIRO employees are often invited to join affiliate research institutes, committees and other bodies both in Australia, and around the world. In doing so employees must comply with the CSIRO Code of Conduct, policies, standards and procedures, including that of safe-guarding information and a voiding and declaring any conflicts of interests.
CSIRO considers the appropriate level of background/security vetting relevant to each role as part of its recruitment processes. CSIRO applies the standards required by the Commonwealth Government's Protective Security Policy Framework and utilises the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency for security clearances where required.