We recently held a webinar on the Regulatory and assurance framework.
The department worked in partnership with the local water utility sector to design the regulatory and assurance framework. A broad range of stakeholders were involved in the design including local water utilities, local government representative bodies, other local water utility regulators, and the private sector. We thank the more than 200 people and organisations who have been involved in the collaborative process to design the new regulatory and assurance process.
Sections 3 and 4 of the regulatory and assurance framework, are also the new Guidelines for council dividend payments for water supply or sewerage services, under section 409(6) of the Local Government Act 1993, replacing the 2007 Best-Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines. Local water utilities not making dividends payments are encouraged, but not compelled, to utilise the department’s assurance framework, experience and capacity to support effective strategic planning.
The framework is based on the actions for change and collaboration mechanisms identified in the department’s Roadmap to an improved regulatory framework for local water utilities and has been informed by extensive consultation with the sector.
Co-operation between local water utility regulators
NSW Government regulatory agencies are responsible for overseeing and supporting local water utilities within their own regulatory frameworks.
Agencies of the NSW Government work individually and collaboratively in line with the NSW Government sector core values of integrity, trust, service and accountability.
Local water utility regulators are implementing a collaboration framework to support delivery of regulator actions identified in the Department of Planning and Environment’s Roadmap to an improved regulatory framework for local water utilities (actions 4.6, 4.7 and 4.8). The collaboration framework (PDF, 250.58 KB) was developed by the following NSW Government regulatory agencies, collectively referred to as the local water utility regulators:
- Department of Planning and Environment — Water
- NSW Health
- NSW Environment Protection Authority
- Office of Local Government
- Natural Resources Access Regulator
- Dams Safety NSW
- Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW.
The collaboration framework sets out the roles and responsibilities of local water utility regulators, and our approach to communication and coordination.
We welcome feedback on the way local water utility regulators are working together and with local water utilities. If you have feedback about our approach to communication and coordination or any other aspects of the framework, including any opportunities for improvement, please reach out to the relevant local water utility regulator/s.
You can also direct feedback on the collaboration framework to the Town Water Risk Reduction Program at email@example.com
Our approach to quality assurance
The quality assurance framework (PDF, 588.49 KB), used for the department’s regulation and assurance of local water utilities, supports the department’s regulatory and assurance framework.
We appreciate the feedback we received from stakeholders during consultation on the draft quality assurance framework. Comments were considered and addressed in the final document including:
- adding the frequency for the collection of measures with indicators measured annually or more frequently
- clarifying the ‘advisory and support’ role within measures for internal and external quality assurance
- clarifying that the regulator perception survey will continue and be used to collect external quality assurance measures
- defining the interaction between external and internal measures, and that these will be used together by the department for quality assurance
- noting that any expansion of the quality assurance framework scope will be developed collaboratively with the local water utility sector.