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Water Bill [HL]


Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    68

 

 55    Determination references under section 12 of the WIA

     (1)    Section 12 of the WIA (determinations under conditions of appointment) is

amended as follows.

     (2)    After subsection (3) there is inserted—

           “(3A)              Subsections (4) and (5) of section 14, and sections 14A and 14B, below

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apply to references to the Competition Commission under this section

as they apply to references under section 14.

           (3B)              A report of the Competition Commission on a reference under this

section—

                  (a)                 shall be made to the Authority; and

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                  (b)                 shall include definite conclusions on the questions or other

matters comprised in the reference, together with such an

account of their reasons for those conclusions as, in the opinion

of the Competition Commission, is expedient for facilitating a

proper understanding of those questions or other matters and

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of their conclusions,

                                       and subsections (5) and (6) of section 15 below apply to such a report as

they apply to a report on a reference under section 14.”

     (3)    Subsections (3)(b)(i), (4) and (5) shall cease to have effect.

 56    Conditions of appointments under the WIA

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     (1)    The WIA is amended as follows.

     (2)    In section 14(5) (modification references to the Competition Commission)—

           (a)           after “this section” there is inserted “or in carrying out functions under

section 16A below”,

           (b)           after “the investigation” there is inserted “or the carrying out of those

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functions”, and

           (c)           after “such investigation” there is inserted “or such functions”.

     (3)    In section 16 (modification of conditions of appointment following report of

Competition Commission), after subsection (4) there is inserted—

           “(4A)              After considering any representations or objections made in response

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to proposals set out in a notice under subsection (3) above, the

Authority shall give notice to the Competition Commission—

                  (a)                 setting out the modifications it proposes to make to remedy or

prevent the adverse effects specified in the report; and

                  (b)                 stating the reasons for making the modifications.

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           (4B)              The Authority shall include with the notice under subsection (4A)

above a copy of any representations or objections received in relation to

the notice under subsection (3) above.

           (4C)              If the period of four weeks from the date on which the notice under

subsection (4A) above is given elapses without a direction under

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section 16A(1)(a) below having been given to it, the Authority shall—

                  (a)                 make the modifications set out in the notice; or

                  (b)                 if a direction under section 16A(1)(b) below has been given,

make the modifications which are not specified in the

direction.”

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Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

    69

 

     (4)    After section 16 there is inserted—

       “16A            Commission’s power of veto following report

           (1)           The Competition Commission (in this section referred to as “the

Commission”) may, within the period of four weeks after the date on

which it is given a notice under section 16(4A) above, direct the

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Authority—

                  (a)                 not to make the modifications set out in that notice; or

                  (b)                 not to make such of the modifications as may be specified in the

direction;

                                       and the Authority shall comply with any such direction.

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           (2)           The Secretary of State may, within the period of four weeks after the

date on which the Commission is given a notice under section 16(4A)

above and on the application of the Commission, direct that the period

for giving a direction under subsection (1) above (and, accordingly, the

period mentioned in section 16(4C) above) shall be extended by

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fourteen days.

           (3)           The power to give a direction under subsection (1) above may only be

exercised in respect of such of the modifications set out in the notice

under section 16(4A)(a) above as appear to the Commission not to be

the modifications which are requisite for the purpose of remedying or

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preventing all or any of the adverse effects specified in the report as

effects which could be remedied or prevented by modifications.

           (4)           If the Commission gives a direction under subsection (1) above, it—

                  (a)                 shall give notice setting out the modifications proposed by the

Authority, the terms of the direction and the reasons for giving

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it; and

                  (b)                 shall itself make such modifications as appear to it to be

requisite for the purpose of remedying or preventing—

                        (i)                        if the direction was given under subsection (1)(a) above,

the adverse effects specified in the report as effects

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which could be remedied or prevented by

modifications;

                        (ii)                       if the direction was given under subsection (1)(b) above,

such of those adverse effects as are not remedied or

prevented by the modifications made by the Authority

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under section 16(4C)(b) above.

           (5)           In exercising its power under subsection (4)(b) above, the Commission

shall have regard to the matters to which the Authority is required to

have regard when determining the conditions of a company’s

appointment.

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           (6)           Before making modifications under subsection (4)(b) above the

Commission shall give notice—

                  (a)                 stating that it proposes to make the modifications and setting

them out;

                  (b)                 stating the reason why it proposes to make them;

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                  (c)                 specifying the period (not being less than twenty-eight days

from the date of publication of the notice) within which

representations or objections with respect to the proposed

modifications may be made,

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

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                                       and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly

made and not withdrawn.

           (7)           A notice under subsection (4)(a) or (6) above shall be given—

                  (a)                 by publishing the notice in such manner as the Commission

considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the

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attention of persons likely to be affected by the making of the

modifications; and

                  (b)                 by serving a copy on the Authority and the company whose

conditions of appointment it is proposed should be modified.

           (8)           The Commission may not make any modification under this section

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which the Authority could not make under section 16 above.

           (9)           After making modifications under this section the Commission shall

publish a notice stating that the modifications have been made and

setting them out, with the reasons for making them.

           (10)          This section does not apply to the modification of the conditions of a

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company’s appointment following a report of the Commission made

before the commencement of section 56 of the Water Act 2003.

       16B            Commission’s power of veto following report: supplementary

           (1)           For the purposes of the law relating to defamation, absolute privilege

attaches to any notice under subsection (4)(a), (6) or (9) of section 16A

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above.

           (2)           In giving any notice under subsection (4)(a) or (6) of section 16A above,

or publishing any notice under subsection (9) of that section, the

Commission must have regard to the following considerations before

disclosing any information.

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           (3)           The first consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as

practicable) any information whose disclosure the Commission thinks

is contrary to the public interest.

           (4)           The second consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far

as practicable)—

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                  (a)                 commercial information whose disclosure the Commission

thinks might significantly harm the legitimate business

interests of the undertaking to which it relates; or

                  (b)                 information relating to the private affairs of an individual

whose disclosure the Commission thinks might significantly

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harm the individual’s interests.

           (5)           The third consideration is the extent to which the disclosure of the

information mentioned in subsection (4)(a) or (b) above is necessary for

the purposes of the notice.

           (6)           The following sections of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 shall apply,

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with the modifications mentioned in subsections (7) and (8) below, for

the purposes of any investigation by the Commission for the purposes

of the exercise of its functions under section 16A above, as they apply

for the purposes of any investigations on references under that Part—

                  (a)                 section 109 (attendance of witnesses and production of

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documents etc.);

                  (b)                 section 110 (enforcement of powers under section 109: general);

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 2 — New regulatory arrangements, etc

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                  (c)                 section 111 (penalties);

                  (d)                 section 112 (penalties: main procedural requirements);

                  (e)                 section 113 (payments and interest by instalments);

                  (f)                 section 114 (appeals in relation to penalties);

                  (g)                 section 115 (recovery of penalties); and

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                  (h)                 section 116 (statement of policy).

           (7)           Section 110 shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (6) above,

have effect as if—

                  (a)                 subsection (2) were omitted;

                  (b)                 in subsection (4), for the words “the publication of the report of

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the Commission on the reference concerned” there were

substituted “the publication by the Commission of a notice

under section 16A(9) of the Water Industry Act 1991 in

connection with the reference concerned or, if no direction has

been given by the Commission under section 16A(1) of that Act

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in connection with the reference concerned and within the

period permitted for that purpose, the latest day on which it

was possible to give such a direction within the permitted

period”; and

                  (c)                 in subsection (9) the words from “or section” to “section 65(3))”

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were omitted.

           (8)           Section 111(5)(b) shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (6)

above, have effect as if for sub-paragraph (ii) there were substituted—

                        “(ii)                           if earlier, the day on which a notice is published by the

Commission under section 16A(9) of the Water Industry

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Act 1991 in connection with the reference concerned or,

if no direction has been given by the Commission under

section 16A(1) of that Act in connection with the

reference concerned and within the period permitted for

that purpose, the latest day on which it was possible to

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give such a direction within the permitted period.”

           (9)           Provisions of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 which have effect for the

purposes of sections 109 to 116 of that Act (including, in particular,

provisions relating to offences and the making of orders) shall, for the

purposes of the application of those sections by virtue of subsection (6)

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above, have effect in relation to those sections as applied by virtue of

that subsection.

           (10)          Accordingly, corresponding provisions of this Act shall not have effect

in relation to those sections as applied by virtue of that subsection.”

Licensing of water suppliers

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 57    Licensing of other water suppliers

Schedule 4, which contains amendments to the WIA to provide for the

licensing of suppliers of water other than water undertakers, is to have effect.

 

 

Water Bill [HL]
Part 3 — Miscellaneous

    72

 

Part 3

Miscellaneous

The Drinking Water Inspectorate

 58    The Chief Inspector of Drinking Water and the Drinking Water Inspectorate

     (1)    Section 86 of the WIA (which provides for the appointment of technical

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assessors for the enforcement of water quality) is amended as provided in

subsections (2) to (8).

     (2)    I              n subsection (1), the words “as technical assessors” are omitted.

     (3)    After subsection (1) there is inserted—

           “(1A)              Subject to subsection (1B) below, the Secretary of State shall designate

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one such person as the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water.

           (1B)              If the function of the Secretary of State under subsection (1) above is

transferred to any extent to the Assembly—

                  (a)                 subject to paragraph (b) below, the Assembly may designate

one such person appointed by it as the Chief Inspector of

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Drinking Water for Wales; but

                  (b)                 if the person designated by the Assembly is the same as the

person designated by the Secretary of State as the Chief

Inspector of Drinking Water, he shall be known as such in both

capacities.”

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     (4)    In subsection (2), for “A person” there is substituted “An inspector”.

     (5)    In subsection (3)(a) and (b), for “a person” there is substituted “an inspector”.

     (6)    In subsection (4), for “person”, wherever it appears, there is substituted

“inspector”.

     (7)    In subsection (6), for the words from “on summary conviction” to the end there

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is substituted—

                  “(a)                    on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £20,000;

                  (b)                    on conviction on indictment, to a fine.”

     (8)    After subsection (6) there is added—

           “(7)              Proceedings by the Secretary of State for an offence under this section

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or in relation to the quality and sufficiency of water supplied using a

water undertaker’s supply system may be instituted and carried on in

the name of the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water.

           (8)              In this section—

                                  “inspector” means the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water or any

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other person appointed under subsection (1) above;

                                  “water undertaker’s supply system” means the water mains and

other pipes which it is the undertaker’s duty to develop and

maintain by virtue of section 37 above.”

     (9)    In section 219 of the WIA (general interpretation), after subsection (9) there is

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Water Bill [HL]
Part 3 — Miscellaneous

    73

 

added—

           “(10)              If the Assembly designates a person as Chief Inspector of Drinking

Water for Wales under section 86(1B) above, references in this Act to

the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water, as respects anything to be done

in relation to him, shall be taken as references to the person designated

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as the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water by the Secretary of State and

also the person designated by the Assembly as the Chief Inspector of

Drinking Water for Wales.”

     (10)   Subsection (7) does not have effect in relation to any offence committed before

the commencement of that subsection.

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Water resale

 59    Charges for services provided with the help of an undertaker

     (1)    Section 150 of the WIA (fixing maximum charges for services provided with

the help of undertakers’ services) is amended as follows.

     (2)    After subsection (2) there is inserted—

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           “(2A)              An order under this section may require the person providing the

supplies or services to furnish the person who is provided with them

with such information as may be specified or described in the order.

           (2B)              An order containing such a requirement may also provide that, in the

event of the failure of the person providing the supplies or services to

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furnish that information, the maximum charges he is entitled to recover

from the person provided with them in respect of those supplies or

services shall be such as may be fixed by the order.”

     (3)    In subsection (5), for the words from “the amount of the excess” to the end there

is substituted—

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                  “(a)                    the amount of the excess; and

                  (b)                                                            if the order so provides, interest on that amount at a rate

specified or described in the order,

                                                                                                                           shall be recoverable by that person from the person to whom he paid

the charge.”

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Penalties

 60    Abstraction and impounding offences

     (1)    In each of sections 24(5)(a) and 25(3)(a) of the WRA (which deal with the

penalty on summary conviction for offences relating to abstraction and

impounding of water respectively), for “the statutory maximum” there is

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substituted “£20,000”.

     (2)    Subsection (1) does not have effect in relation to any offence committed before

the commencement of this section.

 

 

 
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