§ Mr. French
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what plans he has to increase the transparency of Ofwat;
(2) what plans he has to review the powers and accountability of Ofwat;
(3) what representations he has received concerning the powers and accountability of Ofwat; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Director General of Water Services already operates an open regulatory regime, for example by consulting widely on issues such as future charging policy. The responses to these public consultations inform his decisions, which are published in press releases. Information notes are also available which explain Ofwat policy.
The powers of the Director General were reviewed in preparation for the Competition and Service (Utilities) Act 1992, which enhanced his powers in certain respects, for example in the resolution of disputes.
The Director General reports each year to the Secretary of State on the discharge of his duties. The Secretary of State lays a copy of the report before Parliament, and Select Committees may call the Director General to give evidence. Whilst my Department occasionally receives representations from consumers about the powers and accountability of the Director General, I have no current plans to review them further.