New section 12A Modification by the Authority
715 Subsection (1) explains that new sections 12B to 12I apply to water and sewerage undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in England. The process for the modification of licence conditions of undertakers whose areas are wholly or mainly in Wales will remain unchanged by this Bill.
716 Subsection (2) of new section 12A contains a power for the Water Services Regulation Authority ("Ofwat") to make modifications to appointment conditions.
717 Subsection (3) requires Ofwat to consult on any proposed modifications to appointment conditions. The consultation should set out that Ofwat proposes to make changes to a licence, set out the proposed changes, the effect of the changes, why the changes are being proposed, and when the consultation will close.
718 Subsection (4) requires that the consultation period under subsection (3) must be at least 42 days in length, starting from the date the notice is published.
719 Subsection (5) sets out who must be given notice of the consultation. Paragraph (a) requires Ofwat to publish notice in a way that ensures those affected by the modifications will be able to see it; paragraph (b) requires Ofwat to send a copy of the notice to each water or sewerage undertaker whose conditions Ofwat proposes to change, any undertaker or will be affected by the modifications, to the Secretary of State, and to the Consumer Council for Water.
720 Subsection (6) requires Ofwat to consider any responses received to the consultation within the time limit.
721 Subsection (7) enables the Secretary of State to direct Ofwat not to make a change or changes, during the period of the consultation.
722 Subsection (8) explains that subsections (9) to (11) will apply where Ofwat has undertaken the process under subsections (3) to (6) and decides to proceed with the change to the licence following consultation.
723 Subsection (9) requires Ofwat to publish its decision and proposed changes following consultation, including explaining the effect of the changes, how it considered consultation responses, and how the final decision differs (if at all) from the original proposal.
724 Subsections (10) and (11) require Ofwat to state the date on which each change will take effect, which must be at least 56 days after publication of the decision to make the change in question.