Significant performance event reporting framework
While the Commission assesses water retailers performance against annual service standards and regulatory obligations which it reports in the Regulatory Performance Report (RPR), events may occur during the year that warrant special ad hoc reporting. For example, an event that may result in large numbers of customers being without a retail service for an extended period, posing questions as to the water retailer’s ability to meet an annual service standard and whether the retailer has used best endeavours in its effort to restore supply. The Commission looks to achieve consistency in determining which events warrant more timely review and reporting than at the end of the year in the RPR – 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 will have regard to the following criteria when determining whether an event constitutes a Significant Performance Event:
- 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 service standards(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 provision of information in such situations.
It is important to reiterate that all significant events will be reviewed and reported in the RPR. The purpose of designating a Significant Performance Event is to determine when an immediate review and reporting on an event will occur.
Where some water 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/entities advising that a review is to occur, detailing the information sought by the Commission.
- Review the data received, follow up any queries and publish a report. The report will concentrate on providing facts, along with any observations.
- Aim to release the report as soon as possible after the event. Timeliness in providing facts to stakeholders is seen as critical by the Commission.
- Only release a separate follow-up report where: there is on-going public interest in the event; and finalised data results in a material change to the facts or observations. In all other cases, any finalised data or conclusions will be addressed in the next RPR.
In the interests of transparency the Commission will advise relevant Government agencies and where appropriate, relevant Ministers, that the Commission is reviewing the event.
There may be occasions where it is not evident at the time of the event whether the criteria for a Significant Performance Event has been met. In such circumstances, the Commission may determine it prudent to seek information from the licensed entity in case it is subsequently determines that an event meets the criteria.
SA Water Main bursts event - 7 March 2016