An independent investigation into allegations of workplace bullying at the CSIRO has found no major or widespread issues.

Independent investigator Dennis Pearce has found areas of concern that need to be addressed at Australia's top science organisation.

"It is definitely not possible to describe the work culture at CSIRO as 'toxic'," Professor Pearce's report found.

However, the investigation discovered 130 separate allegations of bullying or harassment

The CSIRO says the allegations arose from 113 people, half of them current employees.

Professor Pearce's report made 34 recommendations including ensuring the first response to issues is attempting to make a quick and informal resolution.

"But couple this with improved monitoring of informal complaints and resolutions, so that the organisation can respond more formally if there is repeat offending behaviour," the report said.

"It also suggested workplace bullying complaints that cannot be resolved quickly and informally, or that are more complex (including repeat offences), should be investigated and addressed by the organisation through misconduct procedures, rather than by the victims through grievance procedures.

"There has been an overreliance on grievance procedures to deal with workplace bullying."

CSIRO chief executive Megan Clark says she accepts all of the recommendations.

"The majority of the recommendations we can work on very quickly, some of them will take time and some of them will require agreement with our staff association and unions," Dr Clark said.

"I'm very confident that we can make these changes and the shift required under Professor Pearce's recommendations.

"While the independent investigation found no major or widespread issues with inappropriate behaviour at CSIRO, there are areas of concern that we need to address.

"One case of unreasonable behaviour, bullying, harassment or discrimination is one case too many."

The report also found shortcomings in the institute's policies and said procedures to deal with workplace bullying had not been satisfactory.

It found the model for staff allocation to projects, as well as funding pressures and performance management procedures had contributed to poor behaviour, alleging that these processes were sometimes used to bully staff.

One submission likened the experience of working at the CSIRO to looking "evil in the eye".

"More than once I was asked by colleagues, while still in [work area] and since, what had I ever done to [the perpetrator]," the submission said.

"I now think of this question as akin to asking the victim of abuse or rape or some other violence or injustice: 'What did you do to make this happen to you? Why was it all your fault? Why did you deserve it? Why were you the unlucky one?'

"It's the wrong question, and shows a profound ignorance and misunderstanding of bullying by apportioning blame to the victim. Also, it reflects the bully's "success", as it were, in that the victim is seen as blameworthy, humiliated and weak, the loser.

"To me, the question also reflects a failure to capture how destructive bullying is, not only to the victims who suffer professionally and personally, but also to those around who witness it and are debased by it

"While at CSIRO, I feel I saw all these shades of bullying's nature and effects.

"Without wishing to sound too dramatic, I even feel I looked evil in the eye, and had a glimpse at how really bad things can happen to, and at the hands of, ordinary people."

The investigation was commissioned after the federal workplace safety authority Comcare issued an improvement notice in December 2012 related to claims of bullying and harassment.

Phase two of the investigation is expected to begin shortly, which will further look into the submissions and findings.

It is expected to be completed by February 2014.

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