Roadmap to an improved regulatory framework for local water utilities
Our roadmap to an improved regulatory framework for local water utilities was developed to reflect the outcomes of our engagement with the local water utility sector and our commitment to continue to work in partnership with the sector improve the department's regulatory framework.
Improved regulatory settings and approaches are crucial so that local water utilities and their NSW Government regulators can identify and manage risks effectively and efficiently. The regulatory framework should promote and enable utilities to address risks and strategic challenges effectively and efficiently based on locally developed plans and management systems.
The roadmap focuses on improvements to the regulatory framework for local water utilities. However, recognising that the regulatory framework is just one element of a new partnership approach between local water utilities and the NSW Government, where relevant, the roadmap also identifies opportunities for improvements to the department’s related advisory and support role and the coordination of strategic planning across all levels of government.
- articulates agreed sector objectives and the department’s regulatory objectives, functions and principles
- contains actions to design in detail an improved regulatory framework and approach that is more outcomes-focused, risk-based, proportionate, transparent and accountable, particularly on the department regulation of utility strategic planning, its technical assessments and approvals, the regulation of incident and emergency management and the monitoring or performance.
- sets out how we will continue to collaborate with the sector on regulatory options and improvements, including through working groups that bring together the diverse experience and knowledge of the sector.
Review and development
|Collaborate with the local water utility sector to review and develop our objectives and approach to strategic planning and technical assessment and approvals.||Continue to collaborate with local water utility sector to design our objective and and approach to strategic planning and technical assessment and approvals.||Incorporate feedback and deliver final documents for change and improvements across all regulatory functions.||Implement changes and improvements to the regulatory framework.|
|Collaborate with co-regulators to improve the way we work with each other and local water utilities.||Public consultation on draft approaches.||Develop an assessment and evaluation framework to monitor our performance as a regulator and regularly review our processes.||Investigate minimum service levels together with alternative funding models.|
|Review approach to performance monitoring.||Commitment from co-regulators to local water utilities on working together.||Continually monitor our performance as a regulator and regularly review and improve processes.|
|Guidance on integration with Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework.||Develop improved performance monitoring framework,|
|August to September 2021||October 2021 to March 2022||April to June 2022||July 2022 onwards|
This roadmap to an improved regulatory framework for local water utilities was developed in partnership with the local water utility sector and sets out the actions the department will undertake to improve the regulatory framework for local water utilities.
In June 2021, the Program team engaged with over 260 stakeholders from across the local water utility sector in virtual and regional workshops. We discussed the problems stakeholders saw with the department’s regulatory framework and approach and collaborated on potential solutions and a possible path forward.