Tideway notified Ofwat that it would not be able to submit its audited Annual Performance Report (APR) and other submissions to us on 15 July 2023 as required by its licence. This was because its auditors KPMG were unable to carry out the required audit. KPMG informed Tideway that they did not have the resources to meet this deadline. This constituted a breach of Tideway’s Project Licence, which requires it to submit an APR and other submissions by 15 July every year, accompanied by an auditor’s report.
In lieu of taking enforcement action against Tideway, Ofwat accepted a section 19 undertaking from Tideway. The undertaking required Tideway to submit an unaudited version of its APR by the due date of 15 July 2023, and then the fully audited version of its APR by 22 September 2023. Ofwat considered accepting the undertaking to be a proportionate response to the licence breach, noting that the reasons for the breach were largely been outside of Tideway’s control, it took steps to remedy the breach (including trying to secure replacement auditors) and that it was proactive in drawing the breach to our attention.
Update – September 2023
As required by the undertaking provided, Tideway submitted its unaudited APR by 15 July 2023 and its fully audited APR by 22 September 2023. This fulfils the requirements of the undertaking, which now falls away as complete.