CSIRO Independent Investigation – The 'Workplace Conduct in CSIRO' report, written by Special Counsel Emeritus Professor Dennis Pearce AO, has been released.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The investigator and investigation team


Emeritus Professor Dennis Pearce AO has been appointed as the independent investigator for allegations of workplace bullying and other unreasonable behaviour by current and former CSIRO staff members and CSIRO affiliates.

Professor Pearce is being assisted by an investigation team from HWL Ebsworth Lawyers led by Ms Melanie McKean.

Delivery of Phase 1 Reports and publication of General Findings Report

The investigator has delivered to CSIRO his Phase 1 report on general findings.  The report is titled 'Workplace Conduct in CSIRO'.  The report is available here:

Executive Summary (0.5MB)
Report (1MB)
Appendixes (47MB)

CSIRO's response to the 'Workplace Conduct in CSIRO' report is available at http://www.csiro.au/en/Portals/About-CSIRO/How-we-work/Reinforcing-CSIRO-values.aspx

The investigator's Phase 1 Summary Reports on individual submissions have also been delivered to CSIRO.  These contain personal information and will not be made public.

Advising of outcomes of individual submissions

The investigator has informed each person who made a submission of the outcome of his consideration of their submission. The HWL Ebsworth investigation team is available to discuss the outcomes with people who made a submission.

An explanation of how each submission has been considered by the investigator is contained in Chapter 2 of the 'Workplace Conduct in CSIRO' report (available at the link above).

Due to privacy laws, the investigation team may not have been able to tell people who made a submission whether the person about whom they made a submission remains a CSIRO staff member or affiliate. As a result, the investigation team has sometimes been restricted in explaining why they cannot further investigate some submissions during Phase 2.

Contact details for the investigation team


1800 465 298

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How to make a submission

The period for making a submission commenced on 26 February 2013 and closed on 7 June 2013.

The investigator is not able to accept new submissions after the release of the 'Workplace Conduct in CSIRO' report. 

Terms of Reference for Phase 2

The Terms of Reference for the investigator were released on 26 February 2013, amended on 17 May 2013 and further amended on 9 October 2013.  The further amended Terms of Reference are available here.

Terms of Reference (pdf)

The Investigator is now commencing Phase 2 of the Investigation.  During Phase 2, the investigator will further investigate some submissions, report to CSIRO on the further investigation, report to CSIRO on further general findings and inform people of the outcome of the investigator's further investigation of their submission.

It is intended that Phase 2 will be completed by February 2014.  CSIRO will publish the Phase 2 report on general findings.

Workplace bullying and other unreasonable behaviour

The investigator has adopted the definition of 'workplace bullying' recommended by the Parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying in 2012 which is:

workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

The investigator has used a definition of 'unreasonable behaviour' as behaviour (other than workplace bullying) that is:

a. directed towards a worker or group of workers; and
b. unreasonable having regard to the standards of conduct described in the CSIRO Code of Conduct as it applied at the relevant time.

The current CSIRO Code of Conduct is available at http://www.csiro.au/Portals/About-CSIRO/How-we-work/Code-of-Conduct.aspx

Confidentiality and privacy

The investigator will keep a submission confidential if he has been asked to do so by the person making the submission.  In the individual Summary Reports provided to CSIRO, personal information contained in confidential submissions has been blacked out.

If your submission can be further investigated during Phase 2 but you have not yet consented to disclosure of your personal information during Phase 2, the investigation team will contact you to discuss consent to disclosure of personal information.

Information about confidentiality and about how the investigator will collect and use personal information is contained in the HWL Ebsworth Lawyers Privacy Notice.

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers Privacy Notice (pdf)
HWL Ebsworth Lawyers Privacy Notice (word)

Information about how CSIRO will collect and use personal information from the investigation is contained in the CSIRO Privacy Notice.

CSIRO Privacy Notice (pdf)

Further information is available

Further information about how the investigation is being conducted is available in this Frequently Asked Questions document.  This FAQ was updated on 30 August 2013 following public release of the 'Workplace Conduct in CSIRO' report.

Frequently Asked Questions document (pdf)

You can also telephone or email the investigation team if you have any questions.

Professor Pearce has recorded a video Question & Answer session about the investigation which is available at http://www.csiro.au/Portals/About-CSIRO/How-we-work/Reinforcing-CSIRO-values/QandAvideo.aspx

A copy of the video transcript is available here:

Video Transcript

Employee Assistance Program for current and former CSIRO staff members and CSIRO affiliates

Both current and former CSIRO staff members and affiliates (and their immediate families) can access free, confidential counselling to obtain advice and support for work and non-work related matters through CSIRO's Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is provided by PPC Worldwide. The contact number is 1300 366 789.

The EAP is always available to current CSIRO staff members and affiliates (and their immediate families). Special arrangements have been put in place so that former CSIRO staff members and affiliates (and their immediate families) who have made a submission to the investigator, or who are considering whether to make a submission to the investigator, can also now access the EAP.

Media Release

The investigator issued media releases on 26 February 2013 and 20 May 2013.

Media release 26 February 2013
Media release 20 May 2013

Letters to Editors– Corrections about Scope and Process of Investigation

The Investigator wrote letters to the editors of The Canberra Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, published on 19 April 2013, correcting errors published about the scope and process of the investigation. Click here to read the article.