REGULATOR IN CHALLENGE TO WATER COMPANIES ON TRANSPARENCY AND INFORMATION QUALITY

Posted: Tuesday 12th December 2017

New report from Ofwat reveals top performers while others are lagging behind.

Ofwat does not have full confidence in the information provided by four water companies - that is the finding from the regulator's Company Monitoring Framework. The Framework is one of the tools the regulator uses to hold companies to account and to challenge them to improve transparency.

Ofwat has looked at how well companies have explained and assured their information, to judge if customers can have confidence in what companies report.

In looking at that, Ofwat has found an overall picture of improvement. Three companies performed really well - with solid processes to gather, test and present information. It found another 10 water companies did many things well, but there is room for improvement in their data and information handling.

However, Ofwat has reported that shortcomings in the data handling at Bristol Water, Dee Valley Water, Southern Water and Thames Water, means the regulator and customers cannot be sure the information presented is complete and accurate.

Ahead of the next price review, which will cover the period 2020-25, Ofwat has challenged all of those companies to grab the issue of data quality and assurance and improve how it prepares and presents information.

Aileen Armstrong, Senior Director for Finance and Governance at Ofwat, said:

"As customers, we want to be able to trust what we get from our water company - be that the water out of the tap or what they tell us. Unfortunately, on the second of those, our checks suggest we might not be able to take everything at face value.

"These businesses provide essential public services and they need to assure customers they are doing the right things in the right way. If they are to gain and keep the trust of customers, they need to have high quality checks on their information and present it fairly, clearly and completely."




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December 2018

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