Section 22: Scottish Water’s functions: powers of the Scottish Ministers
148.Section 22 inserts sections 56A and 56B into the 2002 Act. Section 56 of the 2002 Act gives the Scottish Ministers powers to direct Scottish Water as regards the exercise of their functions. Subsection (1) of the new section 56A enables any directions issued under section 56 to, in particular, set objectives regarding the standard of services to be provided by Scottish Water in the exercise of its functions; or the timescales within which Scottish Water is to achieve a particular standard of service in exercising its functions, or to commence or complete a particular piece of work. The directions will apply by reference to the period of a charge determination specified under the new section 29B(2) of the 2002 Act. Subsection (2) states that different objectives may be set for different cases or categories of case.
149.Subsection (3) of the new section 56A requires Scottish Ministers, in formulating objectives of a type referred to in subsection (1), to have regard to Scottish Water’s duty under section 51(1) of the 2002 Act, in exercising its functions, to act in the way best calculated to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.
150.Subsection (4) of the new section 56A of the 2002 Act requires Scottish Ministers, before giving directions under section 56 which set objectives of a type referred to in subsection (1), to consult the Convener of the Customer Consultation Panels on the objectives. The Convener, in being consulted under this section, represents the Panels as a whole.
151.The new section 56B of the 2002 Act gives Ministers powers, after consulting the Commission and Scottish Water, to make orders conferring additional or supplementary functions on Scottish Water as regards the provision of water and sewerage services. Paragraph 7(8) of schedule 5 to the Act amends section 68 of the 2002 Act to provide that regulations under new section 56B will be subject to affirmative procedure in the Parliament.