OGTR service charter

This service charter outlines the commitment of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) to provide quality services to the public and users of Australia’s scheme for gene technology regulation.

The Charter also outlines the steps available should there be any shortfall in these standards.

Our service delivery

The OGTR complies with the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct in all aspects of its business. OGTR staff deliver high-quality service and endeavour to be courteous, considerate, impartial, consistent, honest, ethical and professional.

What to expect from the OGTR

OGTR staff place a high value on:
  • treating you with courtesy at all times
  • acting with integrity, empathy, professionalism and mutual respect
  • being objective in our dealings with you
  • listening to you, confirming that we have understood your views or query and responding to all matters of concern
  • explaining our processes and requirements in a way you can understand
  • providing relevant and easy-to-understand responses to letters and emails in a timely manner
  • returning phone calls promptly
  • identifying ourselves to you on the telephone, and providing contact details in written correspondence
  • keeping our discussions with you confidential except as required by legislation
  • treating your personal information in accordance with our privacy policy
  • offering face-to-face meetings to aid discussion
  • continuously improving our systems and processes to increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary administrative burdens

What we can do

OGTR staff will:
  • support the Regulator to meet the statutory responsibilities and time frames set out in the Act
  • comply with all aspects of the gene technology legislation
  • declare, avoid and/or manage potential conflicts of interest when giving advice or making decisions
  • use the best available science and evidence to guide decision-making
  • provide applicants with background information and reasons for decisions if requested
  • regard all individuals and organisations as legitimate stakeholders in the gene technology regulatory scheme
  • align our work with best Australian and international standards of risk analysis and regulatory practice
  • provide general advice and factual information about the gene technology regulatory scheme
  • clarify existing guidance
  • try to refer you to the appropriate organisation if your enquiry is outside the OGTR’s scope
  • respect your rights to privacy and confidentiality
  • respond to reports of incidents or suspected breaches as the highest priority

What we cannot do

OGTR staff cannot:
  • prioritise your application over others
  • advise you on the likely outcome of your application
  • provide information or advice on GM foods (please contact FSANZ)
  • provide information or advice on the use of pesticides on GM crops (please contact APVMA)
  • provide legal advice, including offering interpretation of the legislation and how it applies to your circumstance
  • provide advice regarding your business decisions
  • make decisions on behalf of your Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • provide you with Confidential Commercial Information without the consent of the owner or unless otherwise allowed by the Act

Your role

We encourage you to:
  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect
  • allow us sufficient time to respond to your requests
  • respond to our requests for information accurately and in a timely manner
  • be open and honest to further strengthen relationships
  • advise us promptly when your details change
  • learn and abide by any legal requirements and other obligations under the Act that apply to you concerning gene technology and dealings with GMOs
  • let us know if our services are not meeting your expectations

Your complaints

Should you consider the OGTR has failed to meet these service charter standards, or if you experience any difficulties with our operations, please:
  • try to resolve this with the staff member you are dealing with
  • ask to talk to the staff member’s manager if you remain unsatisfied
  • make a written complaint to the Regulator.
  • Via our web form
  • Email: ogtr@health.gov.au
  • Post: The Gene Technology Regulator, (MDP 54), GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601

If you are still unsatisfied, you can raise your concerns with the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman:
  • Phone: 1300 362 072 (Calls from mobile phones are charged at mobile phone rates)
  • Indigenous Line: 1800 060 789
  • Norfolk Island:1800 1354
  • Overseas callers +61 2 6276 0111
  • Online complaint form
  • Post: The Commonwealth Ombudsman, GPO Box 442, Canberra City ACT 2601

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