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Working in CSIRO - what is expected of CSIRO?

Australia expects CSIRO to conduct its activities ethically and with integrity.

This expectation demands that we:

  • comply with all applicable laws, regulations and Australian Government policies;
  • maintain high standards of scientific, professional and business practice;
  • be an impartial, authoritative and respected source of independent information and advice on science for the community and government, a trusted advisor; and
  • conduct our affairs in a way which enhances the reputation of CSIRO and Australia.

Our conduct as an organisation is guided by our commitment to always act in the national interest.

Specifically, we will:

  • provide leadership in Australia's innovation system and be consultative in determining our priorities;
  • ensure our scientific, commercial and management decisions are well informed, transparent and able to withstand public scrutiny;
  • subject our science to robust peer review and be open about areas of uncertainty and gaps in our knowledge;
  • manage and use the resources entrusted to us responsibly and in a manner that is efficient, effective, economical and ethical and promotes the financial sustainability of CSIRO;
  • be open about our scientific, commercial, financial and general performance, whilst recognising confidentiality requirements; and
  • be accountable for our actions.

Our success as an organisation also depends on how well we work together. CSIRO is committed to creating an environment where innovation thrives and everyone is valued and treated fairly and with respect. Accordingly, we will:

  • safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, partners and the communities in which we operate;
  • as an organisation be committed to child safety and to the implementation of Child Safe principles and procedures;
  • encourage cooperation, collaboration and teamwork;
  • acknowledge the importance of balance between work and personal responsibilities;
  • respect the privacy of our staff members and CSIRO affiliates;
  • be transparent and consultative about decisions affecting staff members or CSIRO affiliates and observe principles of equity;
  • recognise and reward the contributions and achievements of individuals and teams;
  • manage performance, including poor performance; and
  • manage inappropriate behaviour and misconduct.

Working in CSIRO - what is expected of our people?

General conduct

When working in CSIRO, our people will:

  • behave in a way that upholds CSIRO's integrity and good reputation of the organisation;
  • act ethically;
  • act in good faith and for a proper purpose;
  • act in the best interests of CSIRO;
  • act with care and diligence;
  • treat everyone with respect and courtesy, recognising social and cultural differences;
  • recognise, value and respect the diversity, heritage, knowledge, cultural property and connection to land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • treat colleagues fairly, equitably and with due consideration;
  • be politically impartial and neutral;
  • perform duties competently and with professionalism, rigour, honesty and integrity;
  • be familiar with, and comply with, all applicable laws and regulations and CSIRO policies, principles and procedures relating to the position and area of work;
  • complete the mandatory Code of Conduct training on commencement and every two years;
  • comply with any lawful and reasonable direction given by someone in CSIRO who has authority to give such directions; and
  • report all potential breaches of the Code of Conduct, including illegal activities and research misconduct.

Our people must not:

  • make improper use of their position in CSIRO to gain, or seek to gain, benefit or advantage for themselves or any other person or organisation;
  • provide false or misleading information;
  • bully, victimise or discriminate against any staff member or CSIRO affiliate; or
  • behave in a way that intimidates, offends, degrades, insults or humiliates another person.

Scientific conduct

In conducting science, our people will:

  • maintain high standards of research ethics and conduct consistent with the principles and responsibilities of the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct in Research, 2018;
  • uphold the scientific reputation of the organisation;
  • comply with the relevant laws, regulations, disciplinary standards, ethics guidelines and CSIRO policies related to scientific research, ensuring appropriate approvals are obtained prior to the commencement of research and adhering to any conditions of such approvals;
  • support and promote a culture of responsible research conduct at CSIRO and in their field of practice, including undertaking and promoting education and training in this area;
  • provide guidance and mentorship on responsible research conduct to other researchers or researchers undergoing training under their supervision and, monitor their conduct;
  • care for and respect human research participants and communities affected by their research, giving appropriate consideration to the needs of minority groups or vulnerable people;
  • engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples prior to research being undertaken if it affects or is of particular significance to them and respect their legal rights and local laws, customs and protocols, so that they may freely make decisions about their involvement in research;
  • report to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the outcomes of research in which they have engaged;
  • ensure animals used for scientific purposes are treated respectfully, humanely and ethically and that the 3 Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) are considered at all stages of research involving animals;
  • minimise adverse effects of their research on the environment;
  • use the best available science and scientific techniques to ensure that conclusions are justified by the results and underpin their research with attention to detail;
  • apply best available research results from CSIRO and other sources to their science, appropriately and accurately citing the work of others;
  • communicate research methodology, data and findings accurately responsibly and where appropriate openly and broadly, taking action to correct the record in a timely manner when it is necessary;
  • avoid, manage and disclose actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest or biases in their research;
  • appropriately acknowledge the role of others in research;
  • subject research to impartial, rigorous and formal peer review and participate in peer review in a way that is fair, rigorous and timely and maintains the confidentiality of the content;
  • properly manage and protect CSIRO's intellectual property and research data and materials, retaining clear, accurate, secure and complete records of all research including research data and primary materials and where possible and appropriate, allowing access and reference to these by interested parties;
  • respect and properly manage the intellectual property and research data and materials of others; and
  • consider the consequences and outcomes of research prior to its communication and alert their manager where research findings might affect CSIRO's position on the subject area.

Our people must not engage in research misconduct, including fabrication or falsification of results, and plagiarism.

Communication and publication

Our people are encouraged to engage in the open exchange of scientific information and to participate in discussion and debate in their area of expertise.

They are also encouraged to support the role of CSIRO and its research.

Communication with the public, including the media, will be in a manner consistent with this Code of Conduct and CSIRO procedures on Public Comment by CSIRO Staff, and Publication. In engaging in public communication and publishing, our people will:

  • base comments on expert opinion arising from independent, peer reviewed research;
  • consult widely within the organisation, and where diversity of scientific views exists, make reference to the range of scientific perspectives held within CSIRO;
  • ensure public statements made on behalf of the organisation or using CSIRO as an affiliation are approved by CSIRO;
  • ensure all publications are properly peer reviewed and approved by CSIRO;
  • if representing a private view, state clearly that comments represent a personal view as a private citizen, and do not represent the views of CSIRO; and
  • consult their manager if intending to publish or comment in a private capacity on a subject related to their area of professional expertise, reputation and employment with CSIRO.

Our people must not make statements that are harmful to the reputation of a colleague or the organisation in a public forum, including social networking forums.

Health, safety and the environment

Our people will take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of colleagues, themselves and others and to prevent harm to the environment. They will:

  • identify, assess and take steps to control health, safety and environmental hazards associated with their work;
  • immediately stop any work that appears to be unsafe or hazardous to the environment;
  • be familiar with emergency procedures, and ensure visitors are familiar with these procedures; and
  • report any workplace health, safety or environmental incidents so action can be taken.

Our people must not:

  • undertake work unless trained, competent, medically fit and sufficiently rested and alert to do so;
  • undertake work if they may be impaired by drugs or alcohol (illegal, legal or prescribed); or
  • walk past an unsafe or dangerous situation without taking steps to render the situation safe or notify the responsible person.

Conflicts of Interest

Our people will:

  • avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest related to their work for CSIRO, including making a declaration of such conflicts of interest;
  • disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any real or apparent conflicts of interest in connection with their CSIRO employment; and
  • declare any private interests held by themselves or a member of their immediate family which conflict, or may appear to conflict, with the interests of CSIRO.

Confidentiality and privacy

Our people will:

  • maintain confidentiality of information, including commercial information, of CSIRO and others; and
  • observe the confidentiality and privacy of personal information held by CSIRO.

They must not use or disclose confidential information without approval from their senior manager.

Confidential information includes:

  • information relating to CSIRO, its people or its work, including interactions with the Government, that is not publicly available;
  • confidential Government information and information of third parties which they have access to as a consequence of their work with CSIRO; and
  • new knowledge or research data which has not been approved for publication.

Managing information and intellectual property

CSIRO is bound by legislation and Government policy on the creation, use, sharing, security and destruction of all records.

CSIRO owns the intellectual property rights to anything our people create or develop, during the course of their employment with CSIRO.

They will:

  • maintain complete, reliable and accurate records of the performance of their work related decisions and activities; and
  • ensure the proper storage of, and access to, records, including the confidentiality and security of information.

Using and protecting CSIRO Information and Resources

Our people will:

  • use the organisation's resources (including money, property, facilities, equipment and information systems) lawfully, efficiently and for activities related to their work;
  • ensure their business travel arrangements are the most economical to CSIRO and at reasonable cost given the nature and purpose of the trip; and
  • comply with CSIRO physical and information technology security requirements and take care to prevent waste, loss, damage, misuse or theft of CSIRO resources.

They must not:

  • engage in fraudulent behaviour against CSIRO with the objective of obtaining money or other benefit from, or of evading a liability to, CSIRO; or
  • make improper use of information acquired whilst working for CSIRO to gain an advantage for themselves or others, or to cause detriment to CSIRO or to another person.

Making commitments on behalf of CSIRO

Our people may only incur expenditure, sign contracts or make any other commitment on behalf of CSIRO in accordance with delegations and authorities formally assigned to them.

Staff responsibilities of managers

Managers have added responsibilities towards staff members and CSIRO affiliates. As managers, they will:

  • lead by example;
  • encourage a work environment that is inclusive. Staff should be actively involved in decisions affecting their work and workplace and encouraged to participate in team planning;
  • encourage staff to develop skills and progress in their careers;
  • ensure staff complete mandatory training prescribed by CSIRO principles and procedures;
  • be accurate and fair in assessing the work of others and provide accurate, informative references, including statements to any appeals or grievance committees;
  • be fair when considering rewards, promotions, workforce changes or other matters that affect the staff members or CSIRO affiliates;
  • treat seriously any concerns about behaviour and conduct and take action to address the matter; and
  • resolve conflicts fairly and quickly and in accordance with established procedures.

Working with others - what is expected of CSIRO?

Our relationships with government, industry, research partners, suppliers and the community are a key part of how we conduct our science and deliver national benefits.

We value working together with companies and other bodies to deliver common goals.

Our relationships are built on trust and mutual respect.

Accordingly, we will:

  • deal fairly with suppliers, partners and clients;
  • act in a transparent and accountable manner;
  • manage our commercial affairs with care and due diligence;
  • be cooperative and collaborative;
  • foster the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge, whilst protecting appropriately our intellectual property;
  • respect confidentiality, sensitivities and the intellectual property of others;
  • consult widely with industry and others to understand their needs;
  • meet our Service Charter obligations;
  • deliver on our commitments; and
  • act as a responsible part of the communities in which we operate and act to protect the environment.

When imposing requirements on others in relation to the use or management of CSIRO's resources we will take into account:

  • the risks associated with that use or management; and
  • the effects of imposing those requirements.

Working with others - what is expected of our people?

Working with partners and industry

In dealings with our research and business partners, collaborators, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders, our people will:

  • build and maintain effective working relationships;
  • establish honest, fair and easily understood business and contractual arrangements based on a mutual understanding of obligations;
  • ensure the quality of their work is of a high standard, including proposals, reports, products and presentations;
  • maintain confidentiality of dealings with others and respect their intellectual property; and
  • deliver on their commitments.

Working with Government and the Parliament

In addition to the above, when dealing with Government and Parliament, our people will:

  • provide frank, honest, comprehensive, accurate and timely advice;
  • observe established protocols regarding communication with the Minister responsible for CSIRO and other Ministers, the portfolio Department, and other members of Parliament; and
  • assist CSIRO to comply with legislative and other requirements to keep the Minister responsible for CSIRO and the Finance Minister informed.

Working with communities

In dealings with the communities in which we work, our people will:

  • engage with communities affected by our operations and take their views into consideration in decision making;
  • respect cultural sensitivities;
  • respect the traditional rights and culture of indigenous people; and
  • take action to protect the environment.

Working overseas

In working overseas, our people will familiarise themselves with local behaviours, practices and customs, and be sensitive to actions or behaviours that may be acceptable in one culture but not in another.

They will behave in a way which upholds the good reputation of CSIRO and Australia.

Entertainment and hospitality

Offering entertainment and hospitality, including modest corporate gifts, on behalf of CSIRO is a legitimate way to build good relationships provided they do not unduly influence business decision making or cause others to perceive an undue influence.

In providing entertainment and hospitality to guests our people will ensure it is properly approved and for a clearly stated business purpose which is likely to advance the interests of CSIRO and is not just goodwill.

Bribery, inducements and facilitation payments

In dealings with others in Australia or overseas our people will ensure all fees and other payments required to conduct business are legal, made in a transparent manner and properly recorded.

They must not engage in bribery or seek to corrupt others.

Gifts and benefits

Our people are not permitted to give or accept gifts or benefits of any significant value related to their employment, including sponsored travel from people or organisations external to CSIRO, without express approval of their senior manager.

Work outside CSIRO

Our people must receive prior approval from their senior manager before they:

  • engage in paid work outside CSIRO; or
  • engage in unpaid work outside CSIRO where there is a potential conflict of interest.

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