Company Monitoring Framework
At South West Water Iincorporating Bournemouth Water) we recognise how important it is for all our customers and stakeholders to have trust and confidence in the information we report, on the services we provide and how we provide them.
Ofwat, the economic regulator for the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales introduced the Company Monitoring Framework (CMF) assessment in 2015 to encourage companies to deliver high quality assurance of the information that they produce. An assessment was carried out each year by Ofwat to ensure that companies were communicating in a clear, accessible and transparent way and that the information gave a fair view of how a company is performing.
Companies were then put into one of three categories depending on how they scored: self-assurance, targeted or prescribed. In the last assessment, in January 2019, we were categorised as targeted. As a targeted assurance company, we were required to undertake a 'Risks, Strengths and Weaknesses' exercise and publish an Assurance Plan.
In August 2019 Ofwat issued an information notice informing companies that they would not be publishing further CMF assessments but would continue to scrutinise and challenge companies' approaches to data quality and assurance of their performance reporting. We believe that undertaking engagement for the Risks, Strengths and Weaknesses Statement and Assurance Plan is a worthwhile exercise, as it ensures that we are meeting our customers' needs with regards to the information we provide to them. We will therefore continue to publish these documents going forward.
Risks, Strengths and Weaknesses Statement 2019
Although Ofwat will no longer be assessing us through the CMF, we have used their final assessment from January 2019 as well as our own assessment with internal and external stakeholders to identify our risks, strengths and weaknesses in providing information that our customers and stakeholders want and can trust, enabling us to target areas for improvement. This statement combines the risks, strengths and weaknesses of South West Water and Bournemouth Water into a single document.
This document forms part of our wider, ongoing engagement and assurance activities with customers, stakeholders and regulators.
Assurance Plan 2019/20
South West Water remains keen to ensure that the information it provides to customers and other stakeholders is reliable and that the information it provides is useful and is in a format and style which is understandable and user-friendly for customers and stakeholders.
The assurance plan utilises South West Water’s long established Integrated Assurance Framework which incorporates a robust ‘three lines of defence model.’ This framework is applied flexibly to areas where assurance is required, considering both the risk that the information/data may be incorrectly reported and the appropriate options for assurance.
The assurance we perform and commission gives comfort to the users of the information which we provide internally and externally and forms part of South West Water’s corporate governance.