Section 11: Participation of licensed providers
47.Section 11 gives the Commission powers to take such steps as it considers necessary to ensure that the opening up of the market for licensed water and sewerage services under Part 2 of the Act happens in an orderly manner, and with minimum disruption to Scottish Water and its customers.
48.Subsection (1) gives the Commission a duty to exercise its functions in such a way as to secure that water and sewerage services providers participate in the provision of services pursuant to a licence in an orderly manner and in a way that is not detrimental to the exercise of Scottish Water’s core functions. To enable it to do this, the Commission is given powers under subsection (2) to direct Scottish Water or a licensed water or sewerage services provider, including a potential licensed provider, to take such steps as are required to ensure their participation achieves the aims in subsection (1). Subsection (4) requires proposed directions to be consulted upon with the intended recipient(s). Subsection (5) requires that the recipient(s) of directions under subsection (2) must comply with these.
49.In particular, it is envisaged that the Commission may use its power under this section to require licensed providers to use a central mechanism (one which the Commission would have identified as optimum) to facilitate the exchange of information required when a customer switches to another licensed provider. Subsection (3) specifically provides for directions to relate to this matter and to any costs associated with the participation of licensed providers in the market, which could, for example, include the costs of developing such a mechanism.