CSIRO investigated by Commonwealth Ombudsman
CSIRO research funds given to logging lobby group
We recently asked the CSIRO to cancel its $10,000 membership to Australia’s national logging lobby group, Australian Forests Products Association (formerly NAFI) as it was inappropriate and against the charter for the CSIRO.
The CEO refused. We took the issue to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office. It also reckoned that such membership to political lobby groups was totally acceptable and that the networking benefits outweighed any reputational damage.
What other political lobby groups are government agencies funding under the guise of ‘membership fees? We wonder if CSIRO is also funding the coal industry, the mining or uranium lobby. I’ll bet their Animal Health division hasn’t paid $10,000 to join Animals Australia, or its Marine Division joined Sea Shepherd.
CSIRO’s precious research funds are directly being funneled into AFPAs campaign of attacking government policies and lobbying for more funds for CSIRO’s Forestry Division.
If they believe there is no conflict of interest, if their judgment is correct and it’s an appropriate use of tax-payers’ money, then we believe we are also eligible to request the CSIRO become a member of EEG – they can have a special ‘Wink-Wink’ membership rate of $10,000 a year. We’ll offer them real value for money in providing a balance of information. Their Code of Conduct states they must remain unbiased – so it’s only fair they seek the valuable contribution that Environment East Gippsland can provide.
We have formally requested the Ombudsman’s office review our complaint and respond sensibly.
But meanwhile we have decided to set up a new membership category for corporates and government agencies. See below.
Environment East Gippsland Inc invites Government and corporate sponsor/membership for valuable communication and networking.
Annual fee: $10,000 membership.
Open invitation for CSIRO Forestry Division to become a member of EEG.
In response to the finding of the Commonwealth Ombudsman on 14th May 2012, EEG is providing organisations like CSIRO, DSE, VicForests and private companies such as SEFE, an opportunity to invest in a valuable networking opportunity by taking out a membership with Environment East Gippsland Inc.
EEG, as a dynamic forest conservation group, has a very long and detailed history of the economics, science and politics of logging. We have statewide, national and international connections as well as the most up to date scientific research and economic analysis of the logging of native forests.
We provide an excellent newsletter and regular updates on what’s going on in the real world.
As value for money, we believe the CSIRO could not do better to meet its statutory obligations, than to join Environment East Gippsland.
ABC’s AM story (18th May 2012) ‘CSIRO investigates policy gap on industry networking’
ABC’s The World Today story (28th May 2012) on the Ombudsman’s response to CSIRO’s membership of lobby groups
After these very damaging reports, it would be great if people could email or phone CSIRO letting them know that they have lost all faith in the organisation.
Phone them on 1300 363 400 – 9am to 4pm Monday – Friday or email them: firstname.lastname@example.org
CSIRO Scientists bullied
The article below builds on the story above in which we expose the CSIRO Forestry division payment of $10,000 a year to be a member of Australian Forests Products Association (formerly NAFI) a logging lobby group. The Minerals Council of Australia is also funded under this guise to the tune of $10,000 membership each year!
Now we are told that CSIRO’s upper level management has been intimidating and bullying their scientists for years. CSIRO has forced its scientists to tow the ‘correct’ political line and not question government – no matter how unjust, unscientific or destructive something is. To read more click here