CSIRO Slammed for remark over bullying

Posted on February 13, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |


This article in The Australian newspaper says it all really.  Before an investigation has even commenced into the allegations we are already seeing senior CSIRO executives making inappropriate judgements in relation to the validity of claims.  It is difficult to see how such an investigation can be truly independent when the CSIRO’s most senior management have already cast judgement.  Again we must reiterate that for such an investigation to be truly independent, it must be taken completely out of the control of the CSIRO…..

CSIRO slammed for remark over bullying

  • by: By Ehssan Veiszadeh
  • From: AAP
  • February 13, 2013 6:41PM

AUSTRALIA’S national science agency has come under fire for labelling some allegations of bullying by former staff as “dodgy” shortly after appointing an independent investigator to probe the claims.

CSIRO chief Megan Clarke announced on Wednesday that former commonwealth ombudsman Dennis Pearce would investigate bullying claims made by former employees.

Emeritus Professor Pearce will finalise the terms of reference for the inquiry in the coming days and ask for submissions, Dr Clarke told a senate estimates hearing.

The agency has yet to decide whether the investigation will look at claims from current employees.

An interim report will be made public in May.

CSIRO deputy chief Mike Whelan says 11 allegations of bullying and harassment have been made over the past three years at the agency, with one being substantiated.

Liberal senator David Bushby told the hearing he was aware of more than 100 cases of alleged bullying and harassment.

But Mr Whelan questioned the veracity of some of the claims.

“Lots of allegations have been tossed around by stakeholders and media in recent times and I’d have to say that the basis for some of those are pretty dodgy,” he said.

Opposition science spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella took issue with Mr Whelan’s comments.

“If Mr Whelan thinks that these allegations are ‘pretty dodgy’, this begs the question as to why CSIRO have commissioned an inquiry at all,” she said in a statement.

She also questioned whether the investigation will be independent.

“Even in establishing the framework for this inquiry it is obvious there’s an inappropriate ‘hands on’ approach by CSIRO,” Ms Mirabella said.

Prof Pearce works as a legal consultant, specialising in administrative law, and was a commonwealth ombudsman from 1988 to 1991.



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