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Water Industry Act 1991

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15 Reports on modification references.E+W

(1)In making a report on a reference under section 14 above, the [F1Competition Commission]

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

(b)where they conclude 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 they conclude that any adverse effects so specified could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the conditions of a company’s appointment under this Chapter, shall specify in the report modifications by which those effects could be remedied or prevented.

[F2(1A)For the purposes of section 16 below, a conclusion contained in a report of the Competition 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.

(1B)If a member of a group so constituted disagrees with any conclusions contained in a report made on a reference under section 14 above as the conclusions of the Competition Commission, the report shall, if the member so wishes, include a statement of his disagreement and of his reasons for disagreeing.]

F3(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F4(3)For the purposes of the law relating to defamation, absolute privilege attaches to any report made by the Competition Commission on a reference under section 14 above.

(3A)In making any report on a reference under section 14 above the Competition Commission must have regard to the following considerations before disclosing any information.

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

(3C)The second consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as practicable)—

(a)commercial information whose disclosure the Competition 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 Competition Commission thinks might significantly harm the individual’s interests.

(3D)The third consideration is the extent to which the disclosure of the information mentioned in subsection (3C)(a) or (b) above is necessary for the purposes of the report.]

(4)A report of the [F1Competition Commission]on a reference under section 14 above shall be made to the Director.

(5)Subject to subsection (6) below, the Director—

(a)shall, on receiving such a report, send a copy of it to the company to whose appointment under this Chapter the report relates and to the Secretary of State; and

(b)shall, not less than fourteen days after that copy is received by the Secretary of State, publish another copy of that report in such manner as he considers appropriate for bringing the report to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.

(6)If it appears to the Secretary of State that the publication of any matter in such a report would be against the public interest or the commercial interests of any person, he may, before the end of the period of fourteen days mentioned in paragraph (b) of subsection (5) above, direct the Director to exclude that matter from every copy of the report to be published by virtue of that paragraph; and the Director shall comply with any such direction.

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