Info Source

Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information

2015

Office of the Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund

Table of Contents

General Information

Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

Additional Information

General Information

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act. The Introduction to Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information and an index of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally. The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Background

A few decades ago, in most countries the legal options for seeking compensation for marine oil pollution damage and the recovery of costs and expenses for clean-up and monitoring were limited. In Canada, as elsewhere, it was difficult to establish liability and there were difficult to insurmountable recovery challenges. Such issues cried out for statutory solutions. The catalyst for a made-in-Canada solution occurred in 1970 when the tanker Arrow grounded on Cerberus Rock in Chedabucto Bay, Nova Scotia. After the Arrow incident, major amendments were made to the Canada Shipping Act (CSA). The new oil spill legislation in Part XX of the CSA became part of Canadian Law on June 30, 1971. This regime was in place between 1971 and 1989, thus Canadian authorities were ready when the British tanker Kurdistan broke in two in the Cabot Strait in 1979 en route from Nova Scotia to Quebec with a heated cargo of Bunker C oil. In 1989, Canada decided to increase its oil tanker spill cover by becoming a contracting State in the international regime, while modifying and continuing its domestic regime. The Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF) came into force on April 24, 1989, by amendments to the Canada Shipping Act and succeeded the Maritime Pollution Claims Fund (MPCF) established in 1973. The money in the original MPCF, collected by levy on contributing oil imported into or shipped from a place in Canada from 1972 to 1976, was transferred to the new SOPF in 1989, a special account established in the accounts of Canada to which interest is credited monthly by the Minister of Finance. Effective August 8, 2001, the SOPF is governed by Part 6 of the Marine Liability Act as modified by Statutes of Canada, 2009, Chapter 21. The Marine Liability Act was amended to implement two new international conventions, one increasing the amount of compensation available under the international regime for tankers, the other providing rules for spills from ships’ bunkers. SOPF reports to Parliament through the Minister of Transport.

Responsibilities

The SOPF is intended to pay claims regarding oil spills from all classes of ships at any place in Canada, or in Canadian waters including the exclusive economic zone. Thus, the SOPF is not limited to sea-going oil tankers and persistent heavy oil. The Administrator, appointed by the Governor-in-Council, investigates and assesses 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 power 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 Marine Liability Act 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); and participates with the Canadian delegation at meetings of the Executive Committee and the Assembly of the IOPC Funds.

Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

DOMESTIC COMPENSATION REGIME

Investigation and payment of claims for oil pollution damage or anticipated damage, and costs and expenses incurred in respect of measures taken with respect thereto, at any place in Canada, or in Canadian waters including the exclusive economic zone, caused by the discharge of oil from a ship.

CLAIMS

Canada’s national fund provides compensation, pursuant to the Marine Liability Act, for ship-source oil pollution and resulting clean-up costs and expenses that occur in waters under Canadian jurisdiction. It covers all classes of ships that discharge oil, persistent and non persistent. It also covers “mystery spills”, that is spills of oil where it cannot be proved that they did not come from a ship. In addition, Canada is member of an international regime, which covers claims in respect of oil spills from tankers carrying cargoes of persistent oil. To the extent that compensation from the international regime is insufficient to meet all established claims, the Canadian fund provides an additional layer of compensation. Recently, the Marine Liability Act was amended to implement two new international conventions, one increasing the amount of compensation available under the international regime for tankers, the other providing rules for spills from ships’ bunkers. Any person, including the Crown, may file a claim for loss, damage, costs and expenses resulting from ship-source oil pollution with the Administrator. The Administrator must investigate the claim and offer compensation to the extent that he finds the claim to be established. If the claim is paid out of the national fund, the Administrator must take all reasonable measures to recover the amount paid out from the owner of the ship, the international funds or any other person who may be liable. Response organizations, usually under contract to the owner of a ship, cannot file a claim with the Administrator unless they have been unsuccessful in recovering their costs of response from the owner.   Contractors and Response Organizations Description: Records related to contractors and response organizations specializing in surveys, assessments, investigations and inspections including clean-up activities in response to ship-source oil pollution incidents who may be available to conduct surveys, assessments, investigations and/or inspections in support of the claims administration and settlement process. Document Types: Correspondence. Record Number: SOPF OPS 002 Fund Indexation, Limitation of Liability and Levy Description: Records related to the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund indexation, limit of liability, the total amount payable to all claims resulting from a single oil spill, and levy exercise on each metric tonne of contributing oil imported into or exported from Canada in bulk as cargo on a ship. Records may include the annual correspondence between the SOPF and the Director General of Economic Analysis at Transport Canada and the Director of International Marine Policy and Liability as well as any related reports. Document Types: Correspondence and reports. Record Number: SOPF OPS 005 Incident Cases Description: Records related to claims filed against the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund including its predecessor, the Maritime Pollution Claims Fund to obtain compensation for damages resulting from ship-source oil pollution incidents. Includes records related to the administration, settlement and recovery action of claims. Records may include incident reports, letters of undertaking, claims, surveys, investigations and assessments, response organization reports, legal proceedings, claim settlement including offers of settlement and letters of acceptance, release and subrogation, final payment and pleadings and recourse action proceedings. Document Types: Incident reports, claims, reports, assessments, pleadings, photographs and images, maps, notes, requisitions, private locator reports, legal opinions and correspondence. Record Number: SOPF INC 001
  • Incident Case Files Description: This bank describes information that is related to the administration, investigation, assessment, legal proceedings, and settlement of claims submitted to the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF) regarding ship-source oil pollution damage and expenses incurred. In addition, some information relates to cost recovery measures from the shipowner, international fund, or any other person liable of compensation paid to claimants from the SOPF. The personal information may include name, contact information, biographical information, citizenship status, credit information, date of birth, date of death, financial information, other identification numbers (e.g. legal docket number, police incident number), signature and photographs, and personal views and opinions. Class of Individuals: Any person who has submitted a claim for compensation to the SOPF for loss, damage or costs incurred as a result of a discharge of oil from a ship, shipowner, ship contact or guarantor or any other person liable or contact thereof; any person who has commenced legal proceedings against the suspected polluter, legal representative of individual or shipowner (e.g. lawyer, power of attorney), witnesses. Purpose: The personal information is used to process and investigate claims made regarding ship-source oil pollution (including mystery spills), to assess compensation to claimants, and to administer cost recovery action to applicable shipowners and obtain views and opinions from counsel about potential legal action for cost recovery. Personal information is collected pursuant to the Marine Liability Act. Consistent Uses: In the case of legal proceedings, information will be shared between legal representatives and with the applicable municipal, provincial/territorial, federal court of law. Aggregate information is published in the Annual Report to Parliament on the operations of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund. The information may also be used or disclosed for evaluation, research and/or statistical purposes. Retention and Disposal Standards: Records will be retained for three years after the settlement of individual claims and the expiry of the appeal period, if any. Incident reports not resulting in a claim are kept for six years after the incident report. General subject files including records about international incidents are kept for three years after resolution. They are then transferred to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) as archival records. RDA Number: 96/022 Related Record Number: SOPF INC 001 TBS Registration: 20090841 Bank Number: SOPF PPU 001
Maritime Pollution Claims Fund (MPCF) Description: Records related to the general administration and operation of the Maritime Pollution Claims Fund (MPCF). Includes records related to correspondence, memoranda and reports created and/or received during the MPCF regime. Document Types: Correspondence, notes, and reports. Record Number: SOPF OPS 004

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

Initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the existence of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund and its availability to provide compensation for oil pollution damage caused by ships. The interest groups include private citizens, insurers, response organizations, federal and provincial government agencies, and other commercial organizations. Affiliations, Federal, National and International Relations Description: Records related to the fostering of relationships with and mentoring of professional organizations, clubs, societies, foundations and other countries. Includes records related to cooperation and liaison activities with outside organizations, other government departments and agencies, foreign countries and international organizations interested in Canada's ship-source oil pollution, prevention, response, liability and compensation regime, such as shipowners, insurers, oil receivers, Regional Environmental Emergency Team (REET), Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Marine Advisory Council, Canadian Maritime Law Association, the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, Oil Companies International Marine Forum, Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs, and the US Coast Guard. Document Types: Correspondence, notes, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, records of decisions, Memorandum of Understanding, and legal opinions. Record Number: SOPF OUT 001 Committees, Conferences, Seminars and Workshops Description: Records related to committees, conferences, seminars and workshops related to oil pollution, prevention, response, liability or compensation regime issues in which Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund may or may not actively participate. Document Types: Correspondence, meeting agendas and minutes, notes, lists of participants, presentations, records of decisions and reports. Record Number: SOPF OUT 002

INTERNATIONAL OIL POLLUTION COMPENSATION (IOPC) FUNDS

The Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF) is responsible under the Marine Liability Act for the payment of contributions to the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds. The SOPF is responsible for collecting data from receivers of contributing oil in excess of 150,000 tonnes annually and reporting on to the IOPC. International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds Description: Records related to the administration of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds, which was established by the 1969 Civil Liability Convention and the 1971 Fund Convention. Includes records related to the contributions by Canada to the IOPC Fund, including records of contributing oil companies, correspondence to and from the IOPC, contributing oil reports and records of decision of the IOPC committees and working groups. Document Types: Correspondence, notes, instructions, reports, meeting agendas and records of decisions. Record Number: SOPF OPS 001

INTERNAL SERVICES

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Acquisitions; Communications Services; Financial Management; Human Resources Management; Information Management; Information Technology; Legal Services; Management and Oversight Services; Material; Real Property; Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Acquisition Services

Acquisition Services involve activities undertaken to acquire a good or service to fulfill a properly completed request (including a complete and accurate definition of requirements and certification that funds are available) until entering into or amending a contract.

Communications Services

Communications Services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. The communications management function ensures that the public—internal or external—receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Financial Management Services

Financial Management Services involve activities undertaken to ensure the prudent use of public resources, including planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

Human Resources Management Services

Human Resources Management Services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, allocating resources among services and processes, as well as activities relating to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies and plans.

Information Management Services

Information Management Services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity, and to enhance services to the public.

Legal Services

Legal Services involve activities undertaken to enable government departments and agencies to pursue policy, program and service delivery priorities and objectives within a legally sound framework. Legal Services Class of Record

Management and Oversight Services

Management and Oversight Services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction and allocating resources among services and processes, as well as those activities related to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies or plans.

Materiel Services

Materiel Services involve activities undertaken to ensure that materiel can be managed by departments in a sustainable and financially responsible manner that supports the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs. Materiel Management Class of Record

Real Property Services

Real Property Services involve activities undertaken to ensure that real property is managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner, throughout its life cycle, to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs. Real Property Management Class of Record

Travel and Other Administrative Services

Travel and Other Administrative Services include Government of Canada travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories. Administrative Services Class of Record

Additional Information

To make a formal request, mail your letter or Access to Information Request Form (Access to Information Act) or Personal Information Request Form (Privacy Act), along with any necessary documents (such as consent or the $5.00 application fee for a request under the Access to Information Act) to the following address: Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund 180 Kent Street - Suite 830 Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 The Government of Canada encourages the release of information through informal requests. To make an informal request, contact us at the address noted above or e-mail us at info@sopf-cidphn.gc.ca, or by fax at 613-990-5423. You may also wish to consult the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund’s completedAccess to Information ATI Summaries. For additional information about the programs and activities of the Office of the Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund, please contact: Office of the Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund 180 Kent Street - Suite 830 Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 Telephone: 613-991-1726 To obtain information on open data, visit the Open Government portal.

Reading Room

In accordance with the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, an area on the premises will be made available should the applicant wish to review materials on site. The address is: 180 Kent Street - Suite 830 Ottawa, Ontario