WICS annual report 2005/2006: regulatory costs doubled

Annual report and unaudited accounts (44 pages, PDF) of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland for the financial year 2005/2006 (including the Water Industry Commissioner's office until June 2005).

Total expenditure in the year was £3.8 million, more than double the 2003/2004 figure, more than NIAER's 2005/2006 budget, and equivalent to about a third of Ofwat's expenditure in its price control review year (excluding the costs of WaterVoice, now CCWater). WICS regulates one statutory undertaker (Ofwat regulates 22 undertakers, NIAER regulates the gas and electricity networks) and does not have competition law enforcement duties (Ofwat and NIAER do).

The most expensive projects were the the establishment of a retail licensing regime under the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 and the periodic review of charges, with costs of £0.9 million and £0.7 million respectively in addition to staff renumeration and general operating costs. Other consultancy projects added a further £0.2 million.

The unaudited figures show a deficit of £130,061 in the year, which is stated to have been covered by additional grant funding from the Scottish Executive in April 2006. As of 21 June 2006 there appear to be no audited accounts for either 2004/2005 or 2005/2006 on WICS' website. WICS' audited accounts for the financial years 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 were released in December 2004 at the same time as Section 22 reports from the Auditor General on the Commissioner's financial management.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Ofreg, Ofwat, Regulators, Water, WICS.

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