§ Mr. Atkins
I am pleased to announce that the drinking water inspectorate has today published its response to the report of the independent review of the technical audit process. I have placed a copy of the inspectorate's response in the Library.
Professor Stott confirmed the validity of the system and methods devised and developed by the inspectorate for checking the compliance of water companies and the regulatory requirements. His main recommendation was that water companies should develop quality assurance systems to assist them in meeting their statutory obligations consistently and to enable the inspectorate to determine whether the statutory requirements have been met.
The inspectorate agrees that quality assurance systems should become more widespread as a means of ensuring consistently high quality drinking water. As such systems are introduced the inspectorate will adapt its techniques of inspection so that it can be satisfied that those systems are fully observed and that they remain appropriate for delivering wholesome drinking water and protecting public health.