Ofwat last week started the ball rolling on seeking a delivery partner for PR19. It published an open early engagement notice on gov.uk’s contract finder page, announcing that later this year it will tender for a partner(s) to work with it from the 18 months from April 2018.
Ofwat said delivery partnership was “one of the solutions we are looking at to help us to meet this [price review] requirement in an efficient, responsive and cost effective way”. It explained: “The work required to carry out for a price review, such as scrutinising business plans, producing draft and final determinations, requires a peak of resource within Ofwat, both in terms of absolute numbers and specific skill sets.” The regulator also last week started recruitment for a number of economist positions.
Although Ofwat used a delivery partner at PR14, the PR19 model is unlikely to be a direct replica of that arrangement. Not only is there considerably more time in hand this time around, but Ofwat’s in-house capabilities are in a different place and also the next review will feature a number of new qualities.