Working arrangements during COVID-19 pandemic

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, in light of the gradual improvement to the situation in the UK and the easing of some restrictions, a limited number of staff have begun to return to work in the IOPC Funds’ offices on a regular basis.  The Claims Submission Office for the Agia Zoni II incident in Greece already reopened in June and the Director, in close cooperation with IMO and with full regard to the advice of the UK Government, continues to prepare and take all necessary precautions to enable all staff to safely return to the IOPC Funds’ offices in London in due course.

Until that time, for the most part, the Secretariat will continue to work remotely. All the necessary tools to facilitate remote working are in place 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 continues to hold meetings and is keeping the Director regularly informed of developments in terms of the security of the Funds’ assets.  The joint Audit Body has also met remotely and is continuing with its scheduled workplan.

The next meeting of the IOPC Funds’ governing bodies has been rescheduled to take place from 2–4 December 2020 and is expected to run as a remote meeting.  It is the Director’s intention that the meeting should cover all the agenda items that were due to be considered by the governing bodies in 2020. The Secretariat is making adjustments and completing the work required to assist Member States in managing their participation.

A number of other activities planned for the year have regrettably been postponed or cancelled. 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 and contact numbers.  If you do not know the details of the person you wish to contact, or for general enquiries, please email info@iopcfunds.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 liliana_monsalve@iopcfunds.org.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during these exceptional circumstances.