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Water Industry Act 1991

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[F117NWater 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.]

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)

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