Open conversation on performance crucial to sector success

Posted: Wednesday 28th October 2015

Ofwat has set out a framework for how company performance and financial information will be reported by companies to their customers and stakeholders. The framework also sets out how we will use that same information to ensure that customers are being protected.

Transparency of key performance and financial information is an important part of Ofwat’s shared vision for the water sector in England and Wales, where customers and wider society have trust and confidence in water and wastewater services, reflecting the vital nature of these public services. The note summarises that effective performance information sharing and monitoring is crucial if this shared vision is to be achieved.

Cathryn Ross, Ofwat Chief Executive said:

“We want to continue moving companies’ focus away from the regulator onto building relationships with their customers and stakeholders, and understanding what they want. We’ve put the onus on companies stepping up and taking the lead to make available the right information, properly assured. That’s vital if the sector is to have a clear and open conversation about whether it is delivering what customers and wider society want.

“Ofwat plays a vital role in stimulating that conversation but we expect the companies to lead it. We will focus on highlighting issues which may impact upon customers. For example, we will assess companies' financial resilience, the robustness of board leadership and the quality of the information companies publish.

“Transparency in itself will help build trust and confidence in the sector. More than this, if the sector has the right conversation on the basis of the information it publishes, this will help it to identify and manage risk, benefiting everyone over the long term.”

Ofwat has today summarised its expectations on reporting and the package of monitoring tools to help it achieve its shared vision. This is information we would expect an efficient, well-run company to already hold on their own performance. This package of measures is also not exhaustive in terms of the information companies will need to make available to customers and other stakeholders.

Ofwat wants companies to step up and lead the way in their communications with customers and communities. Ofwat will also remain flexible in the areas it monitors and information it collects, so it can respond to customers and stakeholders interests, and developing risks and opportunities.

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