Chief executive Ben Jeffs last week moved MOSL’s programme of work in support of the Open Water programme out of red and into amber status. He explained this was on the grounds that he now has “a clear line of sight in our being able to exit the current testing phase of the programme and enter shadow market at the beginning of October”.
In a letter to member company CEOs on 13 July, Jeffs listed the following factors as underpinning his increased confidence:
• User Acceptance Testing of the core Central Market Operating System (CMOS) is underway and progressing well towards completing on time by 31 July. User Acceptance Testing of the Settlement Engine is underway to prove how the system performs with market data and against different market scenarios. A quality gate has been established for 31 July and settlement testing will continue throughout August to further increase confidence.
• The market entry assurance process is well underway and business solution assessments are now starting to come through. These provide visibility of the detailed processes that companies will be working to throughout shadow and into the live market.
• Movement into the third data iteration cycle; data uploads are validating to ~90% on average, with some files completing 100% validation. Participant testing is underway, with 18 wholesalers and 15 retailers connected to the CMOS portal and more than 1.5m transactions performed.
• Management of members’ data protection concerns, including via the deployment of a second “sandpit” environment.
• Progress in supplementary work areas including bilaterals, trade effluent and unplanned events.
• The appointment of two expert panels to challenge MOSL’s test strategy, particularly where settlement is concerned. PA Consulting has been appointed to provide independent assurance.
• Progress towards establishing MOSL as the enduring Market Operator.
• Following a contingency planning workshop with DEFRA and Ofwat, Jeffs said he “cannot currently foresee any delay to the start of Shadow Market or the opening of the live market in April 2017”.
The CEO cautioned that the positive news should not detract from the fact that “there is clearly still a long way to go”.
Jeffs put the programme on red in February due to a number of issues during the first build phase for the CMOS. Individually none of the issues were considered to be insurmountable, but collectively they posed “a significant threat” to the delivery of the programme.