2018 CLEAR Award Recipients

CLEAR Investigative Excellence Award (Group)  |  Consumer Protection BC

CLEAR is pleased to present the 2018 Investigative Excellence Group Award to the members of the Consumer Protection BC Investigative Team.

Each year, payday lenders operating in British Columbia, Canada are required to submit self-reported sales and revenue data to Consumer Protection BC for review. In January 2017, the Manager of Policy & Research identified concerning data from a payday lender showing an unusually high percentage of sales and revenue earned through payday insurance sales, which lenders are prohibited from requiring under the Business Practices & Consumer Protection Act. In response, a team of Consumer Protection BC inspectors launched an investigation into the payday lender’s business practices through a series of coordinated, simultaneous and strategic inspections. The team employed multiple and creative investigative techniques which included the use of data, the power of inspections to gain information, and by sourcing evidence from untraditional sources, such as employee training manuals.  

Through evidence gathered during the investigation, the team was able to prove the lender was illegally requiring the purchase of loan insurance and was deceptively exaggerating or failing to state material facts about the loan insurance. The company providing the credit protection insurance was also found to be in contravention of the Financial Institutions Act, a law administered by the Financial Institutions Commission. As the investigation broadened, a second major lender was found to be engaged in the same non-compliant behavior.

By joining together to share knowledge and expertise, Consumer Protection BC and the Financial Institutions Commission took coordinated action against the lenders and the insurer, facilitating hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds and ending an activity that harmed vulnerable consumers. Consumer Protection BC has demonstrated how strategic partnerships between regulators can have powerful and far-reaching results. Their dedicated enforcement, and protection of the consumer, makes them incredibly deserving of this award.

CLEAR Regulatory Excellence Award (Group) | College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC)

CLEAR is pleased to present the 2018 Regulatory Excellence Group Award to the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC).

From 2012 to 2013, pharmacies in Vancouver, British Columbia experienced a 160% increase in community pharmacy robberies, often targeted for their prescription opioid medications. After being contacted by local law enforcement, the College formed a working group comprised of representatives from law enforcement, pharmacies, CPBC staff and British Columbia’s pharmacy association. The working group devised a set of pharmacy security requirements aimed at reducing pharmacy robberies and protecting confidential health information of the consumer. The measures were first introduced via policy in 2015 and transitioned to bylaw in 2017.

In a recent evaluation of the working group’s initiatives, a criminologist from Simon Fraser University found strong evidence supporting the success of the measures in reducing the number of pharmacy robberies since having gone into effect. Notably, there was an immediate and substantial drop – a 94% decrease in pharmacy robberies within Vancouver, alone. In the Interior and Lower Mainland regions of British Columbia, there was an approximate 20% reduction.

The College’s pioneering efforts have resulted in an adaptive model of pharmacy security requirements for other regulatory authorities to use within their own jurisdictions. The dedication, team work and tenacity to overcome obstacles and create a safer environment for pharmacy staff and the public is what makes the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia a deserving recipient of this award.  

CLEAR Regulatory Excellence Award (Individual)  |  Dr. Joanna Flynn

CLEAR is pleased to present the 2018 Regulatory Excellence Award (Individual) to Dr. Joanna Flynn AM, Chair of the Medical Board of Australia. As a medical practitioner for the past 30 years, Dr. Flynn has made considerable contributions to professional regulation within Australia and internationally.

In recent years, Dr. Flynn has led the work of the Medical Board of Australia to develop a comprehensive new Professional Performance Framework, designed to ensure that all registered medical practitioners practice competently and ethically throughout their working lives. The successful launch of the Professional Performance Framework, with widespread support across the profession, is a testament to Dr. Flynn’s leadership and strategic approach to major regulatory reform.

Dr. Flynn has earned a reputation internationally for wisdom, integrity, decisiveness, intelligence, insight and compassion and through her roles in medical regulation over the decades, has demonstrated a clear understanding of the importance of engagement with the community and the medical profession. She has enormous insight into the role of the regulator to protect the public and balances this with the need for fair and transparent processes, built on the principles of natural justice. Her leadership and vision have helped guide the medical profession through a transition into national registration and an acceptance of major regulatory reform. 

As she concludes her appointment as Chair of the Medical Board of Australia this year and enters retirement, it is fitting to recognize the outstanding contribution she has made to professional regulation and honor her career of service with the presentation of this award.  

CLEAR James L. Guffey NCIT Development Award  |  Chris Buck

CLEAR is pleased to present the 2018 James L. Guffey NCIT Development Award to Chris Buck, former Senior Investigator of the Ontario College of Teachers. Throughout his years of membership with CLEAR, Chris has been an active volunteer on CLEAR committees, taking to heart CLEAR’s stated purpose of promoting the exchange of information and providing education and training to the regulatory community.  

In 2017 and while serving on the Compliance and Discipline Program Sub-Committee, Chris took on the role as Chair of an internal NCIT working group, tasked with the re-design of CLEAR’s Investigating Allegations of Sexual Misconduct NCIT module, an important and current topic within the regulatory investigative community. In addition to his committee service, Chris has generously contributed of his time and expertise towards the development of CLEAR’s newest training offering, Administrative Law and the Regulatory Process.

Chris has recently retired from the role of Senior Investigator with the Ontario College of Teachers, where he provided support in training and development, consultation with investigators, project management and the investigation of complaints. Before joining the College, Chris was a member of the Toronto Police Service for 32 years and retired at the rank of Detective Sergeant in the Homicide Squad. Chris’ professional background has contributed significantly to his involvement with CLEAR and its training programs. Chris Buck is a testament to the quality of dedicated professionals from around the world who have help make CLEAR the organization it is today. CLEAR thanks him for his service and is pleased to honor him with this award.  

CLEAR Consumer Protection Award  |  Julianne D'Angelo Fellmeth

CLEAR is pleased to present the 2018 Consumer Protection Award to Julianne “Julie” D'Angelo Fellmeth, Administrative Director and Supervising Attorney for the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Over the course of an impressive 30-year career, Julie has elevated the visibility of consumer protection and public interest issues throughout the state of California. She has been instrumental in spearheading new legislation aimed at the protection of the consumer and has served as a respected authority in the review and reform of numerous California state agencies and licensing Boards. Her knowledge, keen insight and expertise have significantly contributed to reforms impacting the efficiency, effectiveness and fairness of California’s regulatory functions.  

In concert with her advocacy for the consumer, Julie has devoted her career and energy to academia, further solidifying her impact on public protection. For three decades, she has served as Director and Supervising Attorney at the University of San Diego’s Center for Public Interest Law, where her students would readily regard her as a trusted educator, mentor and role model – someone who has helped mold and educate generations of public interest lawyers, numbering nearly 1,000, who will continue her commitment to the protection of the public and consumer.   

Julie's level of influence both on California's policies, her students and generations of public interest lawyers is considerable and has paved a path for both the public and the state to follow for years to come. CLEAR thanks her for her commitment to the regulatory community and is thrilled to present her with this award. 

CLEAR Service Award for Lifetime Achievement |  Michelle Z. Pedersen

CLEAR is honored to present the 2018 Service Award for Lifetime Achievement to Michelle Z. Pedersen, for her significant contribution to the regulatory community through her long-standing work with CLEAR and in her recent roles as Deputy Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and as Business Development Executive for the State and Local Government Regulatory Portfolio with MicroPact.  Sadly, Michelle passed away in October 2017 but hers is an enduring legacy. While Michelle was highly regarded for her professional accomplishments, those who knew her say that her unwavering commitment to people is what set her apart – a commitment she carried out while promoting regulatory excellence in all that she did.

Michelle attended her first CLEAR conference in Alexandria, Virginia in September 2006 and “never looked back”. In 2007 she joined the faculty of the Executive Leadership for Regulators Learning Program and since 2008, regularly served as that program’s Committee Chair or Vice-Chair.  Michelle was elected onto CLEAR’s Board of Directors in 2009 and served as its President from 2012 to 2013. In accepting the nomination as President-Elect, Michelle shared the following about CLEAR, in her own words:
 “It has been my privilege to serve CLEAR in a variety of capacities, and to continue on the Board of Directors in this new role [is] an unprecedented honor. I am passionate about CLEAR, and it has been a pleasure to contribute to CLEAR’s goals by serving on the Board of Directors; by fulfilling the roles of chair, co-chair and faculty for the Executive Leadership for Regulators program; and by chairing, co-chairing or participating on-ten different committees, working groups, projects and task-forces. As President of CLEAR, my intent is to play a pivotal leadership role in the growth and expanding successes of the organization-with an emphasis on (1) continuing to foster a culture and environment of access, inclusiveness and diversity; (2) creating opportunities for a clarified and broadened appreciation for involvement and participation; and (3) working collectively with the Board and membership, to strategically increase and leverage the awareness and recognition of CLEAR as a mutually valued resource and forum, beyond traditional organization boundaries.”
Michelle gave generously of her time, good humor and expertise to the wider regulatory community and her dedication to CLEAR was evident to all. Her energy, work ethic and genuine nature is sorely missed but her influence across the many parts of CLEAR will continue to be felt and remembered for years to come. CLEAR is honored to recognize Michelle as the recipient of the 2018 Service Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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