Environment Bill

Explanatory Notes

New Section 27ZA: Power to require information for purpose of monitoring

704 This new section provides the Water Services Regulation Authority ("Ofwat") with a strengthened information gathering power when performing its duties under section 27(1) (reviewing water and sewerage company and water supply and sewerage licensees performance of duties) and section 27(2) (collecting information on company and licensees activities under their licences to operate) of that Act.

705 Subsection (1) enables Ofwat to issue a notice to a water or sewerage undertaker or licensee requesting information in relation to its functions under section 27(1) and section 27(2). Ofwat has duties under the Water Industry Act 1991 to (a) keep under review the manner in which water and sewerage undertakers and licensees carry out their functions and activities (under section 27(1)); and (b) collect information with respect to the manner in which water and sewerage undertakers and licensees carry out their functions and activities, so as to enable Ofwat to become aware of matters relating to its statutory powers or duties (under section 27(2)).

706 Subsection (2) defines the notice as a notice which requires a person to produce specified documents by a particular time, to a particular location, or to provide specified information in a specific manner and form at a particular time and place.

707 Subsection (3) provides that the duties in this section are enforceable by Ofwat using the procedure set out under section 18 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

708 Subsection (4) defines the "appropriate Minister" responsible for enforcement under section 18 of the Water Industry Act 1991 with reference to the water/ sewerage undertaker or water supply/ sewerage licensee in question.

709 Subsection (5) provides the definitions for "the supply system for a water undertaker" and "the sewerage system of a sewerage undertaker" in subsection (4) as those, respectively, provided in section 17B and section 17BA(7) of the Water Industry Act 1991.

710 Subsection (6) provides clarification that nothing in this section requires a contravention of the data protection legislation.

711 Subsection (7) imports the "data protection legislation" definition in section 3(9) of the Data Protection Act 2018. That section currently defines the "data protection legislation" as the General Data Protection (GDPR); the "applied GDPR", the Data Protection Act 2018 and regulations made under it, and regulations made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 that relate to the GDPR or the Law Enforcement Directive.

712 This clause forms part of the law of England and Wales and applies to England and Wales.

Clause 78: Water and sewerage undertakers in England: modifying appointments

713 Subsection (1) amends Part 2 (appointment and regulation of undertakers) of the Water Industry Act 1991, where the current provision for modification of appointment conditions of water and sewerage undertakers by agreement (section 13) is located.

714 Subsection (2) inserts nine new sections into the Water Industry Act 1991, setting out the new process for modification of appointment conditions.


Prepared 29th January 2020