Forward programme

Our forward programme sets out what we will deliver in the next year. You can find a summary of the key information and download a copy of the complete forward programme below.

Download the 2016-17 forward programme (PDF)

Download appendix 1 on how our work programme will help reduce regulatory burdens (PDF)

Download appendix 2 on how our work programme aligns with Government priorities and social and environmental guidance (PDF)

Our programmes

Strategy and planning
Establishing our strategy and using it to drive business activity both within Ofwat and in the sector more widely.

Casework
Using our casework tools to protect customers, hold companies to account and make markets in the sector work better.

Finance and governance
Helping build trust and confidence in how water and wastewater companies operate and meet their obligations and commitments.

Retail market opening
Delivering non-household retail market opening in England, as part of the Water Act reforms.

Water 2020
Developing future ways of regulating in particular upstream reform, and developing our approach to PR19 as part of the Water Act reforms.

Thames Tideway
Establishing and operating the regulatory framework for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, in the best interests of consumers, the environment and society.

Business transformation
Making Ofwat a great place to work and ensuring we have the right culture, structures, systems, processes and ways of working to support our people in delivering our strategy.

Compliance and assurance
Improving how we assure ourselves and others that we comply with our own policies and external requirements – and respond to stakeholder expectations.

Key dates for 2016-17

April to June 2016

Strategy and planning
Publish Ofwat’s five-year business plan for 2016-17 to 2020-21

Casework
Publish final guidance and engage the water sector on our approach to competition law and, in particular, the challenges of the new retail market for eligible business, charity and public sector customers in England

Open the application process for businesses to apply to become licensed as Water Supply and Sewerage Licensees (WSSLs) for the newly competitive retail market for eligible business, charity and public sector customers in England – and for individual customers to self-supply themselves with retail services

Finance and governance
Engage the sector and others on work to modernise water companies’ licences

Retail market opening
Publish the customer protection code of practice setting out the minimum standards of behaviour towards customers in the new market – and consult on the consequent changes to companies’ Instruments of Appointment from market opening

Water 2020
Publish our decisions on the design of the regulatory framework for wholesale markets and the 2019 price review (PR19) – and engage with the sector on licence reform needed to give effect to our decisions

Publish the final method and table requirements for carrying out our review of each monopoly company’s price control for non-household retail services in England and Wales

Publish a policy statement on customer engagement for PR19, setting out conclusions on the principles consulted on in our December 2015 document

Complete the first phase of our delivery model for PR19

Consult on rules for monopoly companies in charging for new connections

Thames Tideway
Publish a rulebook setting out how the Infrastructure Provider’s licence will work

Business transformation
Launch our new employer brand, resourcing and attraction strategy

Design and begin to implement our learning and development offer for employees

Complete changes to our London accommodation to reduce the space we occupy

Compliance and assurance
Publish Ofwat’s annual report and accounts 2015-16

July to September 2016

Strategy and planning
Establish a customer panel to help make sure we build the customer perspective more effectively into all our work

Publish Ofwat’s quarterly dashboard

Casework
Produce a scoping document for the code for self-lay agreements, as set out in the Water Act 2014

Finance and governance
Publish revised regulatory accounting guidance to reflect good practice and to reveal information to support the regulation and development of markets

Conduct a targeted review related to market participants’ readiness for the opening of the retail market for eligible business, charity and public sector customers of companies whose areas are wholly or mainly in England – to support Ofwat’s assurance of market participants’ readiness

Retail market opening

Water 2020
Publish our initial and final findings of our review of the benefits of extending choice of water and wastewater retail services supplier to residential customers

Publish rules for monopoly companies in charging for wholesale water and wastewater services

Publish our draft decisions (‘draft determinations’) of each monopoly company’s price control for non-household retail services in England and Wales

Thames Tideway
Hold an event with stakeholders to explain the Infrastructure Provider’s licence and the regulatory framework for the Thames Tideway Tunnel

Business transformation
Implement our strategic workforce plan and model to drive our resourcing and inform our delivery model for PR19

Compliance and assurance
The other key dates for this programme are a combination of internal and external reporting requirements and meeting schedules (for example, internal audits)

October to December 2016

Strategy and planning
Begin sector-wide engagement on handling and managing customer data

Begin sector-wide engagement on identifying and taking account of the needs of the future customer

Publish our assessment of sector performance against the latest Water UK-led water sector assessment framework (‘dashboard’)

Publish Ofwat’s draft forward programme for 2017-18

Publish Ofwat’s quarterly dashboard

Casework

Finance and governance
Assess monopoly companies against the company monitoring framework – after they have published their annual performance information for 2015-16

Publish our first full commentary on water sector financial resilience

Retail market opening
Formally consult on the main market codes – the Wholesale–Retail Code and Market Arrangements Code

Set up the enduring Market Codes Panel

Send the UK Government an interim letter of assurance on Ofwat’s and market participants’ readiness for the market to open

Water 2020
Publish further consultations to take forward work to implement the regulatory framework for wholesale markets and PR19

Following engagement with the sector, consult under section 13 of the Water Industry Act 1991 to change monopoly companies’ licences to reflect our decisions on the regulatory framework for wholesale markets and PR19

Publish our final decisions (‘final determinations’) of each monopoly company’s price control for non-household retail services in England and Wales

Publish rules for monopoly companies in charging for new connections

Thames Tideway

Business transformation
Review our approach to telecommunications to support our flexible approach to working and deliver improved value for money

Implement our new human resources system

Move more of our IT services to a Cloud-based system and investigate sharing services

Compliance and assurance
The other key dates for this programme are a combination of internal and external reporting requirements and meeting schedules (for example, internal audits)

January to March 2017

Strategy and planning
Publish Ofwat’s final forward programme for 2017-18

Publish Ofwat’s quarterly dashboard

Casework
Implement a new database of customer enquiries and disputes received by Ofwat to help identify trends and issues that may need investigation or action

Review the sector’s markets and consider whether further intervention, potentially through a formal market study, would improve customer outcomes in a target water and wastewater market

Finance and governance
Initiate and carry out a targeted review of a service area

Consult on revised board leadership, transparency and governance principles

Retail market opening
Send the UK Government a final letter of assurance on Ofwat’s and market participants’ readiness for the market to open

Water 2020

Thames Tideway

Business transformation

Complete the implementation of our management development programme.

Start planning the systems needed to support PR19

Compliance and assurance
The other key dates for this programme are a combination of internal and external reporting requirements and meeting schedules (for example, internal audits)

Financing our work programme

Our overall budget for 2016-17 is £22.492 million.

Our core licence fee will be about £3.4 million to £3.8 million lower. This is because:

  • we are returning a credit note for unspent funds from 2015-16 to water companies
  • we will not be charging companies £0.5 million of our budget at the start of the year.

We will separately recover £1 million for Thames Tideway and £1.92 million for retail market opening