Incomplete inquiry still leaves questions unanswered

Posted on August 16, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The following media release is provided courtesy of the office of the Shadow Minister, Sophie Mirabella

Media Release

Sophie Mirabella MP Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science

Wednesday 14 August 2013


While the Coalition will carefully consider the findings of the Pearce Inquiry into bullying and associated workplace problems at the CSIRO, we remain disappointed that potentially more than 100 cases were overlooked by the investigation.

The Pearce Inquiry was established as a direct consequence of the Coalition exposing these issues over several years. It followed us writing in late 2012 to the then Science Minister Evans, asking that a comprehensive, independent inquiry be conducted immediately.

Naturally, we therefore welcome further light being shed on these problems at the organisation.

On the basis of the 130 discrete instances of bullying and/or harassment that they have unearthed through this limited inquiry, Professor Pearce’s team has been able to identify a wide range of problems and suggested improvements to CSIRO’s existing practices and policies.

The Coalition remains concerned by what we regard as the confined scope of the investigation. It is particularly disappointing that the Terms of Reference specifically exclude consideration of the cases of people who have raised allegations of criminal conduct and/or instigated legal proceedings against CSIRO, when they are naturally likely to be the people who consider themselves to have been the most seriously affected by these issues.

As a result of these and other limitations, the inquiry has been rejected in large part by the ‘Victims of CSIRO’ group. This is bitterly disappointing for any serious review of these issues, given that the ‘Victims of CSIRO’ group has been the lead player in bringing together more than 100 CSIRO employees who allege various forms of workplace intimidation and bullying.

In circumstances where so many current and former staff do not feel comfortable about relating their experiences, we believe that it is highly unlikely that a complete and comprehensive picture of the history of bullying at CSIRO can ever emerge. It is also hard not to conclude that the extent of the problem will therefore be understated by the inquiry.

We also share the ‘Victims of CSIRO’ group’s fundamental concern that this investigation of bullying should have been conducted completely independently of the CSIRO itself, rather than reporting directly to it.

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4 Responses to “Incomplete inquiry still leaves questions unanswered”

RSS Feed for Victims of Bullying, Harassment, and Victimisation in the CSIRO Comments RSS Feed

Bravo Sophie!

If you are on a genuine taxpayer funded pension, then what have you got to loose, except perhaps self-respect and dignity?

Thanks for your support.

Attacking the credibility of critics has always been the favoured response of those holding senior Commonwealth positions and only demonstrates how embedded this culture is within, not just the CSIRO, but across many other Federal Agencies. If shooting the messenger is effective 9 times out of 10 then why change the strategy.

The result which everyone should be focusing on is that a large number of bullying allegations were received which indicates some serious issues within the CSIRO. 130 separate allegations does not indicate isolated instances. The reprehensible conduct of senior Human Resources personnel and complete failure to apply misconduct policies to bullies in relation to any of the 130 allegations, in fact, indicates serious systemic problems.

We need to keep focused on the critical issues rather than be distracted by obsequious PR spin!

We will be publishing a detailed response to the investigation report shortly.

Self-respect and dignity.
Throw in integrity and reputation.

I don’t understand why Dr Pearce, someone on a generous taxpayer funded pension would engage in what appears as a ‘bought’ report…

Does he really need more money, could he not just volunteer his services and therefore remove any perception of financial gain which from the very start clouded his ‘independence’ ?

To come hard on Victims of CSIRO run by a dedicated volunteer is an absolutely disgusting low-blow.

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