Supplementary memorandum from United Utilities
I note from the Chairman's closing remarks that
written submissions on the remaining questions were invited.
For completeness I attach my answers to Questions
Q13. What level of consultation do you think
there should be on regulations issued under Part 1 of the draft
It is essential that the relevant utility organisations
or their representative sector bodies (for example: Water UK,
the Electricity Association and the telecoms body UKCTA), are
consulted prior to formulating regulations. This consultation
should also extend to regulatory bodies including Ofwat, Ofgem,
Oftel/OFCOM, the Drinking Water Inspectorate and the Environment
Q14. United Utilities have raised concerns
that emergency powers will have a life of 30 days before lapsing
or requiring renewal: "Category 2 responders may have been
required under such powers to take actions that are contrary to
normal regulations and good practice. This could result in operational
commitements that are impossible to decommission rapidly should
the powers not be renewed". What kind of protection would
you like to see under these circumstances?
UU wishes to see utilities being protected from
liability for non-compliance with standards, regulations, codes
of practice, industry good practice etc where such non compliance
is a consequence of the utility complying with instructions or
commitments made under emergency powers, even though such powers
may have lapsed. This protection from liability should remain
in force for such a period as the utility may reasonably require
to resume its normal service provision and practices, including
the prompt de-commissioning and removal of any necessary temporary
Q15. BT has suggested that emergency regulations
should not be treated as primary legislation for the purposes
of the Human Rights Act because "it would leave individuals
or organisations exposed to legal challenge should individuals
or organisations feel that their human rights have been infringed
by those companies' implementation of emergency regulations."
Can you explain this concern in greater detail and suggest how
you think it might be overcome?
29 October 2003.