Significant Performance Event Reporting Framework
Whilst the Commission assesses some performance aspects of energy entities against annual service standards targets or reliability standards which it reports in the Annual Performance Report (APR), events may occur during the year that warrant special ad hoc reporting. For example, a severe weather event may result in large numbers of customers being without electricity supply for extended periods, posing questions as to the electricity distributor’s ability to meet an annual performance target and whether the distributor has used best endeavours in its effort to restore supply. The Commission is looking to achieve consistency in determining which events warrant more timely review and reporting than at the end of the year in the APR – to be referred to as Significant Performance Events.
The requirements outlined below are additional to the reporting obligations contained in the various Guidelines issued by the Commission.
The Commission defines an event as a Significant Performance Event if all of the following criteria are met:
A significant number of customers are affected for a lengthy duration, or there is reason to believe that a significant number of customers may have been affected for a lengthy duration.
The event is likely to seriously impact on the licensed entity’s ability to meet one of more of its annual performance or reliability target(s).
The Commission needs to undertake a review to be confident that the licensed entity has complied with its obligations under the relevant industry Code(s).
There is strong stakeholder interest, or there is anticipated to be strong stakeholder interest.
The criteria recognise that a balance needs to be struck between reporting on every event and the resources it entails, and meeting stakeholder expectations on the appropriate role of the Commission in such situations.
It is important to reiterate that all significant events will be reviewed and reported in the APR. The purpose of designating a Significant Performance Event is to determine that an immediate review and reporting of the event will occur.
Where some energy entities have existing obligations to report to other regulators in relation to certain events which may meet the Significant Performance Event criteria, the Commission would not seek to duplicate existing reporting arrangements, but rely on those other organisations to report as appropriate. Nevertheless, nothing in this framework overrides a Code obligation to report to the Commission on a specified incident, whether or not it impacts on the supply received by customers.
In order to enable the Commission to assess performance and report quickly on those matters for which it has responsibility, affected entities will need to adhere to special reporting obligations.
Where it is determined that a Significant Performance Event has occurred, and it is a matter for which the Commission has the responsibility to report, the Commission’s response will be to:
Send an information request to the relevant licensed entity(ies) advising that a review is to occur, detailing the information sought by the Commission, with the deadline for receipt of advice being 10 business days following the issue of the request, or within any other time agreed with the Commission.
Review the data received, follow up any queries and draft an Information Paper for public release. The Information Paper will concentrate on providing facts, along with any initial observations.
Aim to release the Information Paper within three weeks of the event, or as soon as possible thereafter. Timeliness in providing facts to stakeholders is seen as critical by the Commission.
Only release a separate follow-up report where: (a) there is on-going public interest in the event; and (b) finalised data results in a material change to the facts or initial observations reported in the Information Paper. In all other cases, any finalised data or conclusions will be addressed in the next APR.
In the interests of transparency the Commission will advise relevant Government agencies and where appropriate, relevant Ministers, that the Commission is reviewing the event.
It is recognised that, in some circumstances, the entity will only be able to provide preliminary data to the Commission in the time available. For certain events it may be critical to report what information is available as soon as possible.
For events that can be reasonably anticipated (e.g. large loss of supply), the Commission will aim to have a prior agreed data template with the relevant entity, so as to ensure that the entity has systems in place to deliver the data in a timely manner.
There may be occasions where it is not evident at the time of the event whether all the criteria for a Significant Performance Event have been met. In such circumstances, the Commission may determine it prudent to seek information from the licensed entity in case it is subsequently determined that an event meets the full defined criteria.