The residual intergovernmental organization IMSO continues with 104 Parties, operating through:
- the Assembly of Parties, which meets every two years;
- the Advisory Committee (comprising around one-third of the Member States appointed by the Assembly every two years) which meets on a regular basis, at least twice a year; and
- a small Directorate, headed by the Director General who is the Chief Executive Officer and legal representative of the Organization.
Mr Jerzy Vonau of Poland was the first IMSO Director from 15 April 1999 to 14 April 2007, and was subsequently appointed “Director General Emeritus” by the IMSO Assembly.
Captain Esteban Pacha-Vicente of Spain was the second Director General from 15 April 2007 to 14 April 2015, and was subsequently appointed “Director General Emeritus” by the IMSO Assembly.
The current Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed of Bangladesh, was appointed by IMSO Assembly in November 2014 and took up office on 15 April 2015.
Under the relevant provisions of the Convention, the Public Services Agreement and the Articles of Association of Inmarsat, IMSO is charged with overseeing, and under some circumstances may enforce fulfilment of Inmarsat’s public service obligations and, in particular, GMDSS services. In performing this role, IMSO acts as the natural ally of IMO and watchdog of proper provisions and implementation of IMO’s requirements in respect of GMDSS by Inmarsat. To facilitate these functions, an Agreement of Cooperation has been concluded between IMSO and IMO. Under a similar Agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), IMSO ensures that Inmarsat takes into account the applicable ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices in line with the Public Services Agreement and regularly informs ICAO accordingly.
The IMSO Convention has been amended with effect from 6 October 2008 to extend IMSO’s oversight to any provider which may be recognized by IMO to provide mobile satellite services for use in the GMDSS. The revised Convention also defines IMSO’s role as LRIT Coordinator, appointed by IMO to audit and review the performance of the LRIT System to ensure its worldwide operation system.
Administrative Arrangements have also been signed between the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the IMSO Director General. These provide the Organization with direct access to the relevant bodies of the ITU, enabling IMSO to play an active role in the development of international telecommunication policies.