As a precautionary measure in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the IOPC Funds’ Secretariat has been working remotely since 12 March 2020. However, the Claims Submission Office for the Agia Zoni II incident in Greece has recently reopened and as the situation in the UK is gradually improving, the IOPC Funds, in close cooperation with IMO and with full regard to the advice of the UK Government, is taking steps to enable a limited number of staff to return to the IOPC Funds’ offices in the coming weeks.
Nevertheless, for the most part, the Secretariat will continue to work remotely. All the necessary tools to facilitate remote working have been in place for several weeks now and the Director is confident that the Secretariat, together with the Funds’ oversight bodies, are able to provide services and carry out their tasks as usual. Claims are being assessed, progress is being made in relation to open incidents where possible and compensation continues to be paid.
The joint Investment Advisory Body held another meeting this week and is keeping the Director regularly informed of developments in terms of the security of the Funds’ assets. The joint Audit Body is also meeting on 12 June to continue with its scheduled workplan.
The Director is also in regular contact with the Chairs of the governing bodies and the IMO Conference Division as the IOPC Funds explore options for delivering the meetings scheduled for November 2020 (see IOPC/2020/Circ.5). Since, under the 1992 Fund Convention and Supplementary Fund Protocol, sessions of the governing bodies must take place once every calendar year, these meetings will go ahead and the Secretariat hopes to be in a position to confirm to delegations the format and exact timing of the sessions in the coming weeks.
A number of other activities planned for the year have regrettably been postponed or cancelled. This includes the IOPC Funds Short Course which was due to take place in June (IOPC/2020/Circ.8). However, the Secretariat is exploring ways in which it could deliver some training or guidance sessions remotely and will be publishing more information in due course.
As this unusual situation continues, staff remain contactable via their usual email addresses. If you do not know the details of the person you wish to contact, or for general enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please rest assured that all messages will be received and responded to at the earliest opportunity.
Should you need to report an oil pollution incident to the IOPC Funds, please contact the Head of Claims, Liliana Monsalve, at email@example.com.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during these exceptional circumstances.