Since August 8, 2001 the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF) is governed by Part 6 of the Marine Liability Act (MLA), as modified by Statutes of Canada, 2009, Chapter 21.
The Administrator, appointed by the Governor-in-Council:
- Holds office during good behaviour and, as an independent authority, must investigate and assess all claims filed against the SOPF, subject to appeal to the Federal Court of Canada;
- Offers compensation to claimants for whatever portion of the claim the Administrator finds to be established and, where a claimant accepts an offer, the Administrator directs payment to the claimant out of the SOPF;
- Prepares an annual report on the operations of the SOPF, which is laid before Parliament by the Minister of Transport;
- Has the powers of a Commissioner under Part 1 of the Inquiries Act;
- May take recourse action against third parties to recover the amount paid out of the SOPF to a claimant and may also take action to obtain security, either prior to or after receiving a claim;
- Becomes a party by statute to any proceedings commenced by a claimant against the owner of a ship, its insurer, or the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds, as the case may be after having been served with the document commencing the proceedings;
- Has the responsibility under the MLA to direct payments out of the SOPF for all Canadian contributions to the IOPC Funds (such contributions are based on oil receipts in Canada reported by the Administrator to the Director of the IOPC Funds);
- Participates with the Canadian delegation at meetings of the Executive Committee and the Assembly of the IOPC Funds.