CSIRO Misleads the Senate. 1.
CSIRO CEO Clark falsely testifies that “we immediately put out a note” after receiving a Comcare improvement notification
In the Senate Estimates of 17 October 2012, CSIRO CEO Megan Clark spoke at length to explain how she accepted a recent Comcare report that found CSIRO to have breached the Occupational Health and Safety Act. She said that, as soon as CSIRO received a formal improvement notification from Comcare on 29 June 2012, CSIRO emailed all staff in the relevant division. Her exact words to Senator Colbeck were:
“ I was on leave but actually worked with Dr Johnson while I was on leave to make sure that we immediately put out a notice”.
However, the email message below shows that CSIRO were issued the Notice of Improvement on 8 June 2012, and spent the following three weeks refusing to post it. No action was taken on Comcare’s directions for three weeks. This directly contradicts Dr Clark’s assertions to Senator Colbeck.
E-mail from Comcare to Dr Sylwester Chyb, the subject of the Comcare Improvement Notification to CSIRO:
On 29/06/2012, at 12:49 PM, “Andrew Morgan” [redacted] wrote:
“Good afternoon Mr Chyb
As you are aware, Comcare issued an improvement notice to CSIRO on 8 June 2012 for the purposes of rectifying breaches of health and safety laws identified by Nigel Docker in his investigation. The notice contains some background information regarding the alleged breaches and a series of directions regarding the action CSIRO must now take.
As Mr Docker is currently on leave, I am assisting following up the improvement notice.
The Work Health and Safety Act(2011) requires that such notices be displayed in the workplace. CSIRO has thus far declined to display the notice and has cited concerns regarding privacy. No individuals are named in the notice. In order to compel CSIRO to display the notice, we would be grateful if you would consent to have the notice displayed in its entirety.
I have attached the notice for you to review for this purpose. Please note, this document is not to be not to be disclosed to third parties.
Can you please advise me if you are willing to consent to this notice in its entirety being displayed in the CSIRO workplace?
If you would like to discuss the matter before providing you consent, or have any questions, please email me or call me on the number below.
Workplace Relationship Resolution Team | Regulatory Services Group
Inspector Appointed under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
P 02 8218 [redacted]
F 02 6274 8842
GPO Box 9905 Canberra ACT 2601
1300 336 979 | www.comcare.gov.au”