B.C. has appointed a new ICBC fairness officer. Michael Skinner, who is a former lawyer and adjudicator, has been appointed for a three-year term today (July 12.)
Skinner’s appointment follows the launch of ICBC’s new enhanced care coverage. The appointment emphasizes the independence of this new office, according to the province.
He will focus on ensuring the corporation’s policies, practices and actions are fair and transparent.
The fairness officer will have the authority to review and make recommendations to resolve customer complaints about the policy or process ICBC has used to decide their case. He may also make broader recommendations to enhance fair decision-making.
As a practising lawyer in 1982, Skinner worked on ICBC cases before transitioning into a career with the B.C. public service as an investigator with the office of the ombudsperson and the office of the information and privacy commissioner. These roles shaped his expertise on multi-party dispute resolution, complex investigations and major public reporting with recommendations for systemic improvement.
Skinner has worked on justice reform projects with the ministry of attorney general and directed operations at the Health Professions Review Board, an administrative tribunal, for eight years.
Since 2016, he has served as a director with the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals.
The fairness officer is required to report annually to ICBC and the minister responsible for complaints received. ICBC must also report annually about how it is responding to the fairness officer’s recommendations. Both reports are required to be publicly available and will be tabled with the legislative assembly.
The new fairness officer builds on the work by the former ICBC fairness commissioner, whose term expires this fall. He will not revisit cases on which the commissioner has made a ruling, the province said.