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Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26773

Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Science and the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing the following question, upon notice, on 14 July 2004:

With reference to the dual roles of Ms Donna Staunton as a private consultant and as the Communications Director of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO):

(1) Is it appropriate that Ms Staunton, as Principal of Staunton Consultancy, has clients that include Pfizer (a major pharmaceutical company) and MIA Group (a leading provider of imaging services) while also working 4.75 days per week as Communications Director for CSIRO.

(2) What arrangements have been made to avoid conflicts of interest arising between Ms Staunton's private work and her CSIRO position.

Senator Vanstone (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The Minister for Science has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Ms Staunton has not taken on any consultancy work since her employment as an officer of CSIRO began on 1 March 2004. Prior to that date, Ms Staunton was engaged by CSIRO as a consultant.

Ms Staunton was engaged by Pfizer as a consultant for a short period in 2002, well before she had any involvement with CSIRO.

Ms Staunton was engaged as a consultant by MIA until the end of January 2004.

(2) At the time of appointment, Ms Staunton declared her involvement on three Boards (WorkCover NSW, The Global Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Centre. (Ms Staunton's term expired for the latter in April 2004). CSIRO conforms with the standard Commonwealth Government practice of maintaining a register of the private interests of senior executives. Under this process Ms Staunton's private interests will be monitored on a regular basis.