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GOVERNMENT PLEDGES WATER MARKET WILL OPEN ON TIME

Published: 1st December 2015

Following an independent review of progress towards retail water market opening that questioned the feasibility of its April 2017 opening date; the government has pledged its commitment to starting on time.

In her first speech since her appointment Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair’s director for water, Sarah Henry, declared the administration as “firmly committed to April 2017.” And she said it would deliver a market that was “fair for new entrants, incumbents and customers alike”.

Her assertion echoed the view aired by other key stakeholders that there will be no delay. Ofwat’s director for market opening, Adam Cooper told the MEUC’s 17 July meeting: “The programme is on solid ground, not on a knife-edge.” And chief operating officer at Gemserv, Ken McRae, agreed that opening the market on time as achievable.

But an independent review of progress towards market opening conducted in late May gave the market opening programme an amber rating meaning the target opening date was feasible but significant issues required urgent management attention.

The so-called baseline review said the body responsible for the market-opening programme, Open Water, must address 18 issues identified as needing immediate or urgent attention as there was negligible contingency left in the programme to accommodate further slippage or change.

By the time the baseline review was publishe3d, significant progress had been made in the market opening.

Crucially, Ofwat and Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL) have taken responsibility for delivery after beefing up their skills and resources.

Following an independent review of progress towards retail water market opening that questioned the feasibility of its April 2017 opening date; the government has pledged its commitment to starting on time.

In her first speech since her appointment Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair’s director for water, Sarah Henry, declared the administration as “firmly committed to April 2017.” And she said it would deliver a market that was “fair for new entrants, incumbents and customers alike”.

Her assertion echoed the view aired by other key stakeholders that there will be no delay. Ofwat’s director for market opening, Adam Cooper told the MEUC’s 17 July meeting: “The programme is on solid ground, not on a knife-edge.” And chief operating officer at Gemserv, Ken McRae, agreed that opening the market on time as achievable.

But an independent review of progress towards market opening conducted in late May gave the market opening programme an amber rating meaning the target opening date was feasible but significant issues required urgent management attention.

The so-called baseline review said the body responsible for the market-opening programme, Open Water, must address 18 issues identified as needing immediate or urgent attention as there was negligible contingency left in the programme to accommodate further slippage or change.

By the time the baseline review was publishe3d, significant progress had been made in the market opening.

Crucially, Ofwat and Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL) have taken responsibility for delivery after beefing up their skills and resources.

  • Ofwat has announced PA Consulting as its delivery partner, an appointment that brings with it a strong team, broad experience and continuity from the previous arrangements.
  • MOSL has appointed a board and top tier management team and is well on its way to becoming a properly structured and staffed organisation. MOSL’s voting structure has been confirmed as one member, one vote, regardless of size of financial contribution.

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