Update Call for Stakeholders

Update Call for Stakeholders

17March 2016: Update call

Update call for stakeholders

This document summarises the key issues discussed during the 27th Open Water update call. These are regular calls that are open to stakeholders in the Open Water Programme[1]. The call was held on 17March 2016 and was chaired by Adam Cooper, Ofwat.Also on the call was Ben Jeffs, MOSL.

Update from Ofwat (Adam Cooper)

Thanks for joining the call. Another 14 days slip by and we start to head into the 1 year countdown. Ben will provide the MOSL update following my piece.

One of the things that struck me putting my notes together for this call was how much thinner the announcements are becoming from an Ofwat perspective. The good news around this is that we are getting through the mountain of work, and have many items either out for consultation or being finalised. We do recognise the level of consultation fatigue given all of the other aspects of the programme that everyone is dealing with so we remain appreciative of the focussed responses.

Of course seeing a light at the end of a tunnel doesn’t mean that we are ready for a break in the sun, as there are a number of other areas of work that the programme needs to address – including further work on the communications and awareness for customers; and more to do on finding our way through some potentially tricky data access issues to improve the situation for customers.

Customer Awareness

In terms of customer awareness, we had a good session on the 10th there was good number of comms leads from across the sector. I was pleased to hear recognition that there was a view that we all share the bricks and bouquets around the programme, and we also heard a request for central programme messages.

New Published Documents

RMOMG meets today and I expect it will approve the publication of the dashboard and risk register alongside the usual RMOMG meeting publication. We will also be discussing Customer Awareness plans and the topics for the next CEO meeting.

From an Ofwat perspective we are preparing to publish some more documents in the next few days.

  • The WSSL Application Guidance should go out today or tomorrow
  • The Customer Code of Practice consultation – following on from the industry input and consideration by the Ofwat Board on the key areas of interest will be out very soon.
  • (Not RMO) Next NHH methodology document should go out next week

A reminder too, that the market readiness condition consultation period is still running until 24 March, and the IATB consultation runs until 5 April. Supplementary guidance on eligibility is out until 7 April.

The team remains busy finalising the Retail Exit Code and the Interim Supply Code – both expected out at the end of the month. We are also doing some more work on the approach to self supply under the WSSL. The work remains on track overall.

I will now hand over to Ben.

Update from MOSL (Ben Jeffs)

264 working days to go!

Annual General Meeting

  • The MOSL AGM took place yesterday (Wed 16th), attended by Anglian, Severn, Thames, Southern and Castle.
  • Both resolutions passed unanimously – auditors and 2016/17 budget.
  • Budget: £11.92m with marginal overall increase of £365k (1.5% on overall programme cost of £24.4m).
  • Have identified some other costs that will require some draw down of contingency circa £300k, which will come out of contingency already billed.
  • Also gave progress update/overview
  • Slides and minutes will be available on our website today (17 Feb)

MOSL programme‘red’ status

  • As per the email we issued, we chose to put the MOSL programme status to ‘red’ to galvanise a response and apply increased senior management focus and attention on the programme.
  • We would like to emphasise that it was our decision to do so and is part of the transparent approach. The ‘red’ status was included in the dashboard that we published.
  • We had identified a number of issues with testing which, though not insurmountable individually, were threatening our ability to move from the build phase into the testing phase
  • As a result we have:
  • Gained additional resource – the number of testers has been trebled
  • Focus from CGI at the highest level –I speak daily to Tara McGeehan, the VP, our chairman Andrew Pindertalks weekly to Tim Gregory, UK President
  • Testing is in progressing, but we have yet to see the ‘hockey stick’ (step change) in terms of the early defects being resolved and the tests increasing and are keeping that under review.
  • Our test lead has been out this week to Groningen to work with the teams. He’s back today and is pleased with the amount of effort being put in.
  • We have also put a team of people into Bridgeall in Scotland. David Nicol, who is one of the key architects of the codes, has gone in with Damian from our subject matter experts along with two of our market services team from London to look at settlements. We are seeing progress.
  • However, we recognise that we can’t keep the status at red – it would risk burning out the team and result in diminishing returns - but this is unlikely to be the last time between now and April 2017
  • We have had an approach from The Water Report about the red status and have briefed them. There will be an article coming out with based on what I put in my letter to your CEOs.
  • The additional resource hasn’t had ‘breakthrough’ yet – but we are monitoring very closely.

Data Operations Paper

  • On 29 February we issued a draft (v0.1) of the Data Operations Paper for comment
  • We received more than 200 comments and questions
  • The data team has worked hard to include comments or provide reasoning when comments were not included in the final document. These have been tracked and will be provided to participants
  • Both documents will be issued later today (Thurs)

Market Entry Assurance SIG

  • We had our first Market Entry Assurance SIG on 8 March in London.
  • Great turn out with nearly 50 attendees and very positive feedback on the session
  • There is a MEA SIG update call happening next week, 24 March, where they will discuss outputs from the session and next steps

ICP meeting

  • There was an ICP meeting on 9 March where 5 change proposals were recommended.
  • Developer services paper was put forward and discussed. We decided at the meeting to go out to short consultation. There has beenbroad support for the principle, questions are around the execution of the detail. We appreciate your feedback on that and will incorporate.

Open Water Communications forums

  • The Open Water partners, Ofwat, Defra and MOSL, lead an Open Water Communications Forum for participants’ Comms Leads last week, 10 March.
  • The RMO Comms Group is meeting to discuss the outputs from this session and advise attendees on any follow-up meetings and planned activity.

System Ready Forum

  • The SRF took place on Tuesday 15 March. Samir Rahim, our new IT Director, presented it.
  • Companies are now very well engaged in this process and keen to look at ways to de-risk the testing process. Samir has come back to me with ideas in terms of what additional things we can do over and above what we’re currently planning.
  • Outputs will be issued by the end of the week.

Sector test system (STS)

  • There have been connectivity issues with STS and we apologise for any frustration and inconvenience caused. Solutions to these were presented at the SRF.
  • Good news is that the certification issue that has been getting in the way of connectivity seems to have been resolved, which should mean we won’t have that issue when we move to the phase one release.

Coming up

  • Next WRG is happening 23 March at CGI.

Other things

  • After the AGM held full board meeting, flash results will be posted by close of play tomorrow.
  • Also be publishing full minutes of last board meeting on MOSL website.
  • After the board meeting we held a ‘deep dive’ session on three areas. One was current organisational structure and resourcing challenges. We are recruiting for a few roles we’re finding it difficult to fill. Had a chat about those and a way forward was agreed.
  • We spent a lot of time on the target operating model in order to inform the business planning work that needs to happen for the enduring market operator.
  • Also gave the board a ‘deep dive’ briefing on MEA.
  • Plan to issue a short note on shadow market in the next few days clarifying what the role of the shadow market is and setting out the fact that there is a test environment that sits around that.
  • Request for an additional environment and we have a price from CGI to provide it. Still looking with CGI to reduce that price. In principle that was agreed by the board. Will make sure that all members are comfortable with the principles around that before a decision is made.

Questions on notice

There were no questions on notice

If you have a question you would like to ask, please send details to: .

Other Questions

Question:For Ofwat- what’s happening credit and payment terms and GSS?

Adam: KPMG has been engaged to research and report on this issue. The list of issues being researched is agreed as a menu of choice for retailer to remain. They are looking at working capital impact on wholesalers and retailers, and the working through the model. Work is continuing as the scope was expanded. We will finalise the work soon but because we want to do additional work to future proof the work with Water2020 and will go to May Ofwat Board

On GSS, we are still on track to provide advice to Defra and welsh government this month. Note should be on the website soon.

On data issues are around access and ownership. This is an issue that will continue to appear through different workstreams.

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Chair's summary

Adam Cooper thanked everybody for their participation and invited feedback on any aspect of the Update Call.

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[1] At the current stage of the programme, these calls are intended for current suppliers, potential entrants and relevant public bodies (for example, statutory representatives or regulators). We will make the notes from the calls accessible to all on our website and will consider requests from other interested parties to join the call, but please note these may not always be accommodated depending on the number of participants and the subject of discussion.