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Water Industry Act 1991

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[F1Licence conditionsU.K.

Textual Amendments

F1Pt. 2 Ch. 1A inserted (1.4.2004 for specified provisions and purposes and 1.8.2005 for further specified provisions and purposes and 1.10.2005 for further specified provisions and 1.12.2005 otherwise) by Water Act 2003 (c. 37), ss. 56, 105(3), Sch. 4 para. 2; S.I. 2004/641, art. 3(l), Sch. 1 (with art. 6, Sch. 3); S.I. 2005/968, art. 3(b) (with savings in art. 4, Sch. 1, 2); S.I. 2005/2714, arts. 2(h), 3(a) (with Sch. para. 5)

17GWater supply licence conditionsU.K.

(1)A water supply licence may include—

(a)such conditions as appear to the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Authority to be requisite or expedient having regard to the duties imposed on him or it by Part 1 of this Act;

(b)conditions requiring the rendering to the Secretary of State of a payment on the grant of a water supply licence, or payments while such a licence is in force, or both, of such amount or amounts as may be determined by or under the conditions.

(2)Conditions may be included by virtue of subsection (1)(a) above in a water supply licence whether or not they are connected with the supply of water or the introduction of water into a water undertaker’s supply system.

(3)Conditions included in a water supply licence may—

(a)require the holder of the licence to comply with any direction given by a specified relevant person as to specified matters or matters which are of a specified description;

(b)require the holder of the licence to do or not to do specified things or things which are of a specified description, except in so far as a specified relevant person consents to the holder’s not doing or doing them; and

(c)provide for the reference to and determination by a specified relevant person of specified questions, or questions which are of a specified description, which arise under or in connection with the licence.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (3) above—

(a)the following are relevant persons—

(i)the Secretary of State;

(ii)the Authority;

(iii)the Assembly;

(iv)the Environment Agency; and

(b)specified” means specified in the licence in question.

(5)Conditions included in a water supply licence may contain provision for the conditions to have effect, cease to have effect or be modified at such times, in such manner and in such circumstances as may be specified in or determined in accordance with the conditions.

(6)Any such condition as is referred to in subsection (5) above shall have effect in addition to the provision made by this Chapter with respect to the modification of the conditions of a licence.

(7)Any sums received by the Secretary of State by virtue of this section shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

17HStandard conditions of water supply licencesU.K.

(1)Such conditions as may be—

(a)determined by the Secretary of State (after consulting the Assembly); and

(b)published by him in such manner as he considers appropriate,

shall be standard conditions of water supply licences granted by the Secretary of State or the Authority.

(2)The standard conditions which may be determined may be different for—

(a)retail licences; and

(b)combined licences,

and standard conditions relating to the retail authorisation may be different depending on whether they are to relate to retail licences or combined licences.

(3)The power to determine standard conditions in relation to retail licences and combined licences may be exercised only before the grant of (respectively) the first retail licence and the first combined licence (but this is without prejudice to the power to modify standard conditions in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter).

(4)The standard conditions for the purposes of water supply licences of either description may contain provision—

(a)for any standard condition included in a licence of that description not to have effect until brought into operation in such manner and in such circumstances as may be specified in or determined under the standard conditions;

(b)for the effect of any standard condition included in such a licence to be suspended in such manner, and in such circumstances, as may be so specified or determined; and

(c)for any standard condition included in such a licence which is for the time being suspended to be brought back into operation in such manner and in such circumstances as may be so specified or determined.

(5)Subject to subsection (6) below, each condition which is a standard condition shall be incorporated by reference in each water supply licence (or in each such licence to which the standard condition applies).

(6)Subject to the following provisions of this section, the Secretary of State or the Authority may, in granting a licence, exclude or modify any of the standard conditions to such extent as he or it considers requisite to meet the circumstances of a particular case.

(7)Before excluding any standard conditions or making any modifications under subsection (6) above, the Secretary of State or the Authority shall give notice—

(a)stating that he or it proposes to exclude the conditions or make the modifications and setting out the effect of so doing;

(b)stating the reasons why he or it proposes to exclude the conditions or make the modifications; and

(c)specifying the time (not being less than twenty-eight days from the date of publication of the notice) within which representations or objections with respect to the proposed exclusions or modifications may be made,

and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.

(8)A notice under subsection (7) above shall be given—

(a)by publishing the notice in such manner as the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) the Authority considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the notice to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the making of the exclusions or modifications; and

(b)by serving a copy of the notice—

(i)on the Assembly;

(ii)on the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water;

(iii)if the notice is published by the Secretary of State, on the Authority;

(iv)if the notice is published by the Authority, on the Secretary of State.

(9)If, within the time specified in the notice under subsection (7) above, the Secretary of State (after consulting the Assembly) directs the Authority not to exclude or modify any standard condition, the Authority shall comply with the direction.

(10)The Secretary of State or the Authority shall not exclude any conditions, or make any modifications, under subsection (6) above unless he or it is of the opinion that the exclusions or modifications are such that—

(a)the licence holder would not be unduly disadvantaged in competing with other holders of water supply licences; and

(b)no other holder of a water supply licence would be unduly disadvantaged in competing with other holders of such licences (including the holder of the licence).

(11)The modification under subsection (6) above of part of a standard condition shall not prevent any other part of the condition from continuing to be treated as a standard condition for the purposes of this Chapter.

17IModification of water supply licences by agreementU.K.

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, the Authority may modify the conditions of a particular water supply licence.

(2)The Authority may not make any modifications under this section unless the licence holder has consented to the modifications and, in the case of standard conditions of the licence, the Authority is of the opinion that the modifications—

(a)are requisite to meet the circumstances of the particular case; and

(b)are such that—

(i)the licence holder would not be unduly disadvantaged in competing with other holders of water supply licences; and

(ii)no other holder of a water supply licence would be unduly disadvantaged in competing with other holders of such licences (including the holder of the licence being modified).

(3)Before making modifications under this section, the Authority shall give notice—

(a)stating that it proposes to make the modifications and setting out their effect;

(b)stating the reasons why it proposes to make the modifications; and

(c)specifying the period (not being less than twenty-eight days from the date of publication of the notice) within which representations or objections with respect to the proposed modifications may be made,

and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.

(4)A notice under subsection (3) above shall be given—

(a)by publishing the notice in such manner as the Authority considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the notice to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the making of the modifications; and

(b)by serving a copy of the notice on—

(i)the licence holder;

(ii)the Council;

(iii)the Secretary of State;

(iv)the Assembly; and

(v)the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water.

(5)If, within the period specified in the notice under subsection (3) above, the Secretary of State (after consulting the Assembly) directs the Authority not to make any modification, the Authority shall comply with the direction.

(6)The modification under this section of part of a standard condition of a licence shall not prevent any other part of the condition from continuing to be regarded as a standard condition for the purposes of this Chapter.

17JModification of standard conditions of water supply licencesU.K.

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, the Authority may modify the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences.

(2)Where at any time the Authority modifies the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences under this section the Authority may make such incidental or consequential modifications as it considers necessary or expedient of any conditions of any licence of that description.

(3)Before making any modifications under this section, the Authority shall give notice—

(a)stating that it proposes to make the modifications and setting out their effect;

(b)stating the reasons why it proposes to make the modifications; and

(c)specifying the time (not being less than twenty-eight days from the date of publication of the notice) within which representations or objections with respect to the proposed modifications may be made,

and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.

(4)A notice under subsection (3) above shall be given—

(a)by publishing the notice in such manner as the Authority considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the notice to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the making of the modifications; and

(b)by serving a copy of the notice on—

(i)each relevant licence holder;

(ii)the Council;

(iii)the Secretary of State;

(iv)the Assembly; and

(v)the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water.

(5)If, within the time specified in the notice under subsection (3) above, the Secretary of State (after consulting the Assembly) directs the Authority not to make any modification, the Authority shall comply with the direction.

(6)The Authority may not under this section make any modifications of the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences unless—

(a)no notice of objection to those modifications is given by any relevant licence holder to the Authority within the time specified in the notice under subsection (3) above;

(b)if one or more relevant licence holders give notice of objection to the Authority within that time—

(i)the proportion (expressed as a percentage) of the relevant licence holders who have given notice of objection is less than such percentage as may be specified in an order made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of State; and

(ii)the percentage given by subsection (7) below is less than such percentage as may be so specified; or

(c)subsection (8) below applies to the case.

(7)The percentage given by this subsection is the proportion (expressed as a percentage) of the relevant licence holders who have given notice of objection, weighted according to their market share at such time and in such manner as may be specified in an order under subsection (6) above.

(8)This subsection applies where the Authority is satisfied that—

(a)the effect of the standard conditions is such as to impose a burden affecting relevant licence holders in the carrying on of activities to which the modifications relate;

(b)the modifications would remove or reduce the burden without removing any necessary protection; and

(c)the modifications are such that no holder of a water supply licence would be unduly disadvantaged in competing with other holders of such licences.

(9)An order under subsection (6) above may include such supplemental, consequential and transitional provision as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(10)Before making an order under subsection (6) above, the Secretary of State shall consult the Assembly.

(11)A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (6) above shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(12)Where the Authority modifies the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences, the Authority shall—

(a)also make (as nearly as may be) the same modifications of those conditions for the purposes of their incorporation in licences of that description granted after that time; and

(b)publish the modifications in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(13)In this section “relevant licence holder”, in relation to proposed modifications of standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences, means the holder of a licence of that description—

(a)which is to be modified under the proposals by the inclusion of any new standard condition; or

(b)which includes any standard conditions to which the proposals relate, other than standard conditions which are not in effect (by virtue of anything done under section 17H(4) above) at the time specified in the notice under subsection (3) above.

17KWater supply licences: modification references to Competition CommissionU.K.

(1)The Authority may make to the Competition Commission (in this section and the following provisions of this Chapter referred to as “the Commission”) a reference which is so framed as to require the Commission to investigate and report on the questions—

(a)whether any matters which—

(i)relate to the carrying on of activities authorised or regulated by a particular licence; and

(ii)are specified in the reference,

operate, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest; and

(b)if so, whether the effects adverse to the public interest which those matters have, or may be expected to have, could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the conditions of the licence.

(2)The Authority may make to the Commission a reference which is so framed as to require the Commission to investigate and report on the questions—

(a)whether any matters which—

(i)relate to the carrying on of activities authorised or regulated by retail licences or combined licences; and

(ii)are specified in the reference,

operate, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest; and

(b)if so, whether the effects adverse to the public interest which those matters have, or may be expected to have, could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the standard conditions of licences of that description.

(3)The Authority may, at any time, by notice given to the Commission vary a reference under this section by—

(a)adding to the matters specified in the reference; or

(b)excluding from the reference some of the matters so specified,

and on receipt of any such notice the Commission shall give effect to the variation.

(4)The Authority may specify in a reference under this section, or a variation of such a reference, for the purpose of assisting the Commission in carrying out the investigation on the reference—

(a)any effects adverse to the public interest which, in its opinion, the matters specified in the reference or variation have or may be expected to have; and

(b)any modifications of the relevant conditions by which, in its opinion, those effects could be remedied or prevented.

(5)As soon as practicable after making a reference under this section or a variation of such a reference, the Authority shall—

(a)publish particulars of the reference or variation in such manner as it considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the reference or variation to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it; and

(b)serve a copy of the reference or variation on—

(i)the licence holder or, as the case may be, the relevant licence holders;

(ii)the Council;

(iii)the Secretary of State;

(iv)the Assembly; and

(v)the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water.

(6)If, before the end of the period of twenty-eight days beginning with the day on which the Secretary of State receives the copy of the reference or variation, the Secretary of State directs the Commission—

(a)not to proceed with the reference; or

(b)not to give effect to the variation,

the Commission shall comply with the direction.

(7)It shall be the duty of the Authority, for the purpose of assisting the Commission in carrying out an investigation on a reference under this section or in carrying out functions under section 17P below, to give to the Commission—

(a)any information in the Authority’s possession which relates to matters falling within the scope of the investigation or the carrying out of those functions and which is either—

(i)requested by the Commission for that purpose; or

(ii)information which, in the Authority’s opinion, it would be appropriate for that purpose to give to the Commission without any such request; and

(b)any other assistance which the Commission may require, and which it is within the Authority’s power to give, in relation to any such matters,

and the Commission, for the purpose of carrying out any such investigation or such functions, shall take account of any information given to it for that purpose under this subsection.

(8)In this section and the following provisions of this Chapter—

  • relevant conditions”—

    (a)

    in relation to a reference under subsection (1) above, means the conditions of the licence to which the reference relates; and

    (b)

    in relation to a reference under subsection (2) above, means the standard conditions of the licences to which the reference relates; and

  • relevant licence holder” means the holder of a licence to which a reference under subsection (2) above relates.

(9)In determining for the purposes of this section whether any particular matter operates, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest, the Commission shall have regard to the matters as respects which duties are imposed on the Secretary of State and the Authority by Part 1 of this Act.

17LReferences under section 17K: time limitsU.K.

(1)Every reference under section 17K above shall specify a period (not longer than six months beginning with the date of the reference) within which a report on the reference is to be made.

(2)A report of the Commission on a reference under section 17K above shall not have effect (and no action shall be taken in relation to it under section 17O below) unless the report is made before the end of the period specified in the reference or such further period (if any) as may be allowed by the Authority under subsection (3) below.

(3)The Authority may, if it has received representations on the subject from the Commission and is satisfied that there are special reasons why the report cannot be made within the period specified in the reference, extend that period by no more than six months.

(4)No more than one extension is possible under subsection (3) above in relation to the same reference.

(5)The Authority shall, in the case of an extension made by it under subsection (3) above—

(a)publish that extension in such manner as the Authority considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it; and

(b)send a copy of what has been published by it under paragraph (a) above to the holder of the licence or, as the case may be, the relevant licence holders.

17MReferences under section 17K: powers of investigationU.K.

(1)The following sections of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 shall apply, with the modifications mentioned in subsections (2) and (3) below, for the purposes of references under section 17K above as they apply for the purposes of references under that Part—

(a)section 109 (attendance of witnesses and production of documents etc);

(b)section 110 (enforcement of powers under section 109: general);

(c)section 111 (penalties);

(d)section 112 (penalties: main procedural requirements);

(e)section 113 (payments and interest by instalments);

(f)section 114 (appeals in relation to penalties);

(g)section 115 (recovery of penalties); and

(h)section 116 (statement of policy).

(2)Section 110 shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (1) above, have effect as if—

(a)subsection (2) were omitted; and

(b)in subsection (9) the words from “or section” to “section 65(3))” were omitted.

(3)Section 111(5)(b)(ii) shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (1) above, have effect as if—

(a)for the words “published (or, in the case of a report under section 50 or 65, given)” there were substituted made;

(b)for the words “published (or given)”, in both places where they appear, there were substituted made; and

(c)the words “by this Part” were omitted.

(4)Provisions of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 which have effect for the purposes of sections 109 to 116 of that Act (including, in particular, provisions relating to offences and the making of orders) shall, for the purposes of the application of those sections by virtue of subsection (1) above, have effect in relation to those sections as applied by virtue of that subsection.

(5)Accordingly, corresponding provisions of this Act shall not have effect in relation to those sections as applied by virtue of that subsection.

17NWater supply licences: reports on modification referencesU.K.

(1)In making a report on a reference under section 17K above, the Commission—

(a)shall include in the report definite conclusions on the questions comprised in the reference together with such an account of its reasons for those conclusions as in its opinion is expedient for facilitating a proper understanding of those questions and of its conclusions;

(b)where it concludes that any of the matters specified in the reference operate, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest, shall specify in the report the effects adverse to the public interest which those matters have or may be expected to have; and

(c)where it concludes that any adverse effects so specified could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the relevant conditions, shall specify in the report modifications by which those effects could be remedied or prevented.

(2)For the purposes of section 17O below, a conclusion contained in a report of the Commission is to be disregarded if the conclusion is not that of at least two-thirds of the members of the group constituted in connection with the reference concerned in pursuance of paragraph 15 of Schedule 7 to the Competition Act 1998.

(3)If a member of a group so constituted disagrees with any conclusions contained in a report made on a reference under section 17K above as the conclusions of the Commission, the report shall, if the member so wishes, include a statement of his disagreement and of his reasons for disagreeing.

(4)For the purposes of the law relating to defamation, absolute privilege attaches to any report made by the Commission on a reference under section 17K above.

(5)In making any report on a reference under section 17K above the Commission must have regard to the following considerations before disclosing any information.

(6)The first consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as practicable) any information whose disclosure the Commission thinks is contrary to the public interest.

(7)The second consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as practicable)—

(a)commercial information whose disclosure the Commission thinks might significantly harm the legitimate business interests of the undertaking to which it relates; or

(b)information relating to the private affairs of an individual whose disclosure the Commission thinks might significantly harm the individual’s interests.

(8)The third consideration is the extent to which the disclosure of the information mentioned in subsection (7)(a) or (b) above is necessary for the purposes of the report.

(9)A report of the Commission on a reference under section 17K above shall be made to the Authority.

(10)Subject to subsection (13) below, the Authority shall—

(a)on receiving a report on a reference under section 17K(1) above, serve a copy of it on—

(i)the licence holder;

(ii)the Council;

(iii)the Secretary of State; and

(iv)the Assembly; and

(b)not earlier than the relevant time, publish another copy of the report in such manner as it considers appropriate for bringing the report to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.

(11)Subject to subsection (13) below, the Authority shall—

(a)on receiving a report on a reference under section 17K(2) above, serve a copy of it on—

(i)the Secretary of State; and

(ii)the Assembly; and

(b)not earlier than the relevant time—

(i)serve another copy on each relevant licence holder; and

(ii)not less than twenty-four hours after complying with sub-paragraph (i) above, publish another copy of the report in such manner as it considers appropriate for bringing the report to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.

(12)For the purposes of subsections (10) and (11) above, the “relevant time” means—

(a)fourteen days after the copy of the report in question is received by the Secretary of State and the Assembly, or

(b)if copies are received by them on different days, fourteen days after the later day.

(13)Subsection (14) below applies if it appears to the Secretary of State that the publication of any matter in a report on a reference under section 17K(1) or (2) above would be against—

(a)the public interest; or

(b)the commercial interests of any person.

(14)The Secretary of State may, not later than the relevant time for the purposes of subsection (10) or (11) above, direct the Authority to exclude that matter from the copy of the report, or (as the case may be) each copy of the report, to be served and published as mentioned in paragraph (b) of that subsection; and the Authority shall comply with any such direction.

17OWater supply licences: modification following reportU.K.

(1)Where a report of the Commission on a reference under section 17K above—

(a)includes conclusions to the effect that any of the matters specified in the reference operate, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest;

(b)specifies effects adverse to the public interest which those matters have or may be expected to have;

(c)includes conclusions to the effect that those effects could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the relevant conditions; and

(d)specifies modifications by which those effects could be remedied or prevented,

the Authority shall, subject to the following provisions of this section, make such modifications of the relevant conditions as appear to it requisite for the purpose of remedying or preventing the adverse effects specified in the report.

(2)Where at any time it modifies under subsection (1) above the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences in consequence of a reference under section 17K(2) above, the Authority may make such incidental or consequential modifications as it considers necessary or expedient of any conditions of licences of that description.

(3)Before making modifications under this section, the Authority shall have regard to the modifications specified in the report.

(4)Before making modifications under this section, the Authority shall give notice—

(a)stating that it proposes to make the modifications and setting out their effect;

(b)stating the reasons why it proposes to make the modifications; and

(c)specifying the period (not being less than twenty-eight days from the date of publication of the notice) within which representations or objections with respect to the proposed modifications may be made,

and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.

(5)A notice under subsection (4) above shall be given—

(a)by publishing the notice in such manner as the Authority considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the matters to which the notice relates to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the making of the modifications;

(b)by serving a copy of the notice on the holder of the licence in question or, as the case may be, the relevant licence holders; and

(c)by serving a copy of the notice on—

(i)the Council;

(ii)the Secretary of State;

(iii)the Assembly; and

(iv)the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water.

(6)After considering any representations or objections made in response to proposals set out in a notice under subsection (4) above, the Authority shall give notice to the Commission—

(a)setting out the modifications it proposes to make to remedy or prevent the adverse effects specified in the report; and

(b)stating the reasons for making the modifications.

(7)The Authority shall include with the notice under subsection (6) above a copy of any representations or objections received in relation to the notice under subsection (4) above.

(8)If the period of four weeks from the date on which the notice under subsection (6) above is given elapses without a direction under section 17P(1)(a) below having been given to it, the Authority shall—

(a)make the modifications set out in the notice; or

(b)if a direction under section 17P(1)(b) below has been given, make the modifications which are not specified in the direction.

(9)The modification under subsection (1) above of part of a standard condition of a particular licence in consequence of a reference under section 17K(1) above shall not prevent any other part of the condition from continuing to be regarded as a standard condition for the purposes of this Chapter.

(10)Where at any time it modifies under subsection (1) above the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences in consequence of a reference under section 17K(2) above, the Authority shall—

(a)also make (as nearly as may be) the same modifications of those conditions for the purposes of their incorporation in licences of that description granted after that time; and

(b)publish the modifications made for those purposes in such manner as it considers appropriate.

17PWater supply licences: Commission’s power of veto following reportU.K.

(1)The Commission may, within the period of four weeks after the date on which it is given a notice under section 17O(6) above, direct the Authority—

(a)not to make the modifications set out in that notice; or

(b)not to make such of the modifications as may be specified in the direction;

and the Authority shall comply with any such direction.

(2)The Secretary of State may—

(a)within the period of four weeks after the date on which the Commission is given a notice under section 17O(6) above; and

(b)on the application of the Commission,

direct that the period for giving a direction under subsection (1) above (and, accordingly, the period mentioned in section 17O(8) above) shall be extended by fourteen days.

(3)The power to give a direction under subsection (1) above may only be exercised in respect of such of the modifications set out in the notice under section 17O(6)(a) above as appear to the Commission not to be the modifications which are requisite for the purpose of remedying or preventing all or any of the adverse effects specified in the report as effects which could be remedied or prevented by modifications.

(4)If the Commission gives a direction under subsection (1) above, it shall—

(a)give notice setting out the modifications proposed by the Authority, the terms of the direction and the reasons for giving it; and

(b)make such modifications itself of the relevant conditions as appear to it to be requisite for the purpose of remedying or preventing—

(i)if the direction was given under subsection (1)(a) above, the adverse effects specified in the report as effects which could be remedied or prevented by modifications;

(ii)if the direction was given under subsection (1)(b) above, such of those adverse effects as are not remedied or prevented by the modifications made by the Authority under section 17O(8)(b) above.

(5)In exercising its power under subsection (4)(b) above the Commission shall have regard to the matters as respects which duties are imposed on the Authority by Part 1 of this Act.

(6)Before making modifications under subsection (4)(b) above the Commission shall give notice—

(a)stating that it proposes to make the modifications and setting them out;

(b)stating the reason why it proposes to make them;

(c)specifying the period (not being less than twenty-eight days from the date of publication of the notice) within which representations or objections with respect to the proposed modifications may be made,

and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.

(7)A notice under subsection (4)(a) or (6) above shall be given—

(a)by publishing the notice in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the making of the modifications;

(b)by serving a copy of the notice on—

(i)the Authority;

(ii)the holder of the licence in question or, as the case may be, the relevant licence holders;

(iii)the Council;

(iv)the Secretary of State;

(v)the Assembly; and

(vi)the Chief Inspector of Drinking Water.

(8)After making modifications under this section the Commission shall publish a notice stating that the modifications have been made and setting them out, with the reasons for making them.

(9)The modification under this section of part of a standard condition of a particular licence in consequence of a reference under section 17K(1) above shall not prevent any other part of the condition from continuing to be regarded as a standard condition for the purposes of this Chapter.

(10)Where, in consequence of a reference under section 17K(2) above, the Commission modifies under subsection (4)(b) above the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences, the Authority may make such incidental or consequential modifications as it considers necessary or expedient of any conditions of licences of that description.

(11)Where, in consequence of a reference under section 17K(2) above, the Commission modifies under subsection (4)(b) above the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences, the Authority shall—

(a)make (as nearly as may be) the same modifications of those conditions for the purposes of their incorporation in licences of that description granted after that time, and

(b)publish the modifications made for those purposes in such manner as it considers appropriate.

17QSection 17P: supplementaryU.K.

(1)For the purposes of the law relating to defamation, absolute privilege attaches to any notice under subsection (4)(a), (6) or (8) of section 17P above.

(2)In giving any notice under subsection (4)(a) or (6) of section 17P above, or publishing any notice under subsection (8) of that section, the Commission must have regard to the following considerations before disclosing any information.

(3)The first consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as practicable) any information whose disclosure the Commission thinks is contrary to the public interest.

(4)The second consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as practicable)—

(a)commercial information whose disclosure the Commission thinks might significantly harm the legitimate business interests of the undertaking to which it relates; or

(b)information relating to the private affairs of an individual whose disclosure the Commission thinks might significantly harm the individual’s interests.

(5)The third consideration is the extent to which the disclosure of the information mentioned in subsection (4)(a) or (b) above is necessary for the purposes of the notice.

(6)The following sections of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 shall apply, with the modifications mentioned in subsections (7) and (8) below, for the purposes of any investigation by the Commission for the purposes of the exercise of its functions under section 17P above, as they apply for the purposes of any investigation on references under that Part—

(a)section 109 (attendance of witnesses and production of documents etc);

(b)section 110 (enforcement of powers under section 109: general);

(c)section 111 (penalties);

(d)section 112 (penalties: main procedural requirements);

(e)section 113 (payments and interest by instalments);

(f)section 114 (appeals in relation to penalties);

(g)section 115 (recovery of penalties); and

(h)section 116 (statement of policy).

(7)Section 110 shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (6) above, have effect as if—

(a)subsection (2) were omitted,

(b)in subsection (4), for the words “the publication of the report of the Commission on the reference concerned” there were substituted the publication by the Commission of a notice under section 17P(8) of the Water Industry Act 1991 in connection with the reference concerned or, if no direction has been given by the Commission under section 17P(1) of that Act in connection with the reference concerned and within the period permitted for that purpose, the latest day on which it was possible to give such a direction within the permitted period; and

(c)in subsection (9) the words from “or section” to “section 65(3))” were omitted.

(8)Section 111(5)(b) shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (6), have effect as if for sub-paragraph (ii) there were substituted—

(ii)if earlier, the day on which a notice is published by the Commission under section 17P(8) of the Water Industry Act 1991 in connection with the reference concerned or, if no direction is given by the Commission under section 17P(1) of that Act in connection with the reference concerned and within the period permitted for that purpose, the latest day on which such a direction may be given within the permitted period.

(9)Provisions of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 which have effect for the purposes of sections 109 to 116 of that Act (including, in particular, provisions relating to offences and the making of orders) shall, for the purposes of the application of those sections by virtue of subsection (6) above, have effect in relation to those sections as applied by virtue of that subsection.

(10)Accordingly, corresponding provisions of this Act shall not have effect in relation to those sections as applied by virtue of that subsection.

17RWater supply licences: modification by order under other enactmentsU.K.

(1)Where the OFT, the Commission or the Secretary of State (the “relevant authority”) makes a relevant order, the order may also provide for the modification of—

(a)the conditions of a particular retail licence or combined licence; or

(b)the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences,

to such extent as may appear to the relevant authority to be requisite or expedient for the purpose of giving effect to, or taking account of, any provision made by the order.

(2)In subsection (1) above “relevant order” means—

(a)an order under section 75, 83 or 84 of, or paragraph 5, 10 or 11 of Schedule 7 to, the Enterprise Act 2002 where—

(i)one or more than one of the enterprises which have, or may have, ceased to be distinct enterprises was engaged in the carrying on of activities authorised or regulated by a retail licence or combined licence; or

(ii)one or more than one of the enterprises which will or may cease to be distinct enterprises is engaged in the carrying on of activities authorised or regulated by a retail licence or combined licence; or

(b)an order under section 160 or 161 of that Act where the feature, or combination of features, of the market in the United Kingdom for goods or services which prevents, restricts or distorts competition relates to activities authorised or regulated by a retail licence or combined licence.

(3)The modification under subsection (1)(a) above of part of a standard condition of a particular licence shall not prevent any other part of the condition from continuing to be regarded as a standard condition for the purposes of this Chapter.

(4)Where at any time the relevant authority modifies under subsection (1)(b) above the standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences, the relevant authority—

(a)shall also make (as nearly as may be) the same modifications of those conditions for the purposes of their incorporation in licences of that description granted after that time; and

(b)may, after consultation with the Authority, make such incidental or consequential modifications as the relevant authority considers necessary or expedient of any conditions of licences of that description granted before that time.

(5)Where at any time the relevant authority modifies standard conditions of retail licences or combined licences under subsection (4)(a) above for the purposes of their incorporation in licences, the relevant authority shall publish those modifications in such manner as the relevant authority considers appropriate.

(6)Expressions used in subsection (2) above and in Part 3 or 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002 have the same meaning in that subsection as in that Part.]

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