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Explanatory Memorandum to Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

Chapter I – Appointments

23.This chapter sets out arrangements for the appointment of water and sewerage undertakers including their modification.  Article 13 enables the Department or, with the Department’s consent, the Authority to appoint water and sewerage undertakers.  The terms of appointment will be set out in a licence.

The arrangements set out in this chapter apply equally to any replacement or additional appointments. It is the Government’s intention to appoint a single Government owned company (“GoCo”) as water and sewerage undertaker with effect from the commencement of this Order.

24.Article 14 empowers the Department or the Authority to vary or terminate appointments in specified circumstances. The powers must be exercised so as to ensure that there is always an undertaker to provide water and sewerage services to all parts of Northern Ireland.

25.Articles 15 to 17, together with Schedule 1 to the Order, set out the procedures to be followed in making new appointments or variations of existing ones and the making of transitional arrangements that may arise in the transfer of duties between undertakers.

26.Articles 18 and 19 confer power on the Department or the Authority to impose conditions on the undertaker in an appointment or subsequently.  They set out the circumstances in which conditions may be made and procedural matters, including references to the Competition Commission.

27.Article 20 provides for the modification of the conditions of a company’s appointment by the Authority with the undertaker’s agreement and after following the procedures set out in Article 20.

28.Article 21 to 27 provides for modifications of an appointment upon reference by the Authority to the Competition Commission where a condition of a company’s appointment may operate against the public interest.  The Competition Commission is obliged to investigate and report on the matter in accordance with the procedures set out in these Articles.  Article 28 provides for modifications in other circumstances.  Article 29 extends certain functions of the Office of Fair Trading concerning competition to enable them to be concurrently exercised by the Authority in relation to water and sewerage.

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