The “purdah” protocol that runs from typically six weeks prior to a General Election has forced Ofwat to delay publication of its final determinations for the water companies AMP7 Business Plans as a result of the General Election.
Ofwat said it will delay publication of its final determinations for PR19 until 7am on Monday 16 December 2019 after “taking account of protocols during a General Election campaign”. The original publication date was 12 December – the day of the General Election. Purdah began at 7pm on 5 November.
Purdah restricts activities by ministers and civil servants, including non-departmental public bodies (NDBBs) such as Ofwat. It ends only when a new government isn place, So were there an inconclusive result in the upcoming election it could continue for several days or more until (say) a coalition is formed.
Parliamentary guidelines for purdah say”
“The basic principle for civil servants is not to undertake any activity that could call into question their political impartiality or that could give rise to criticism that public resources are being used for party political purposes. This principle applies to all staff working in departments; and
departmental and Non Departmental Pubic Body activity should not be seen to compete with the election campaign for public attention.