New report showcases water companies’ performance in Board Leadership, transparency and governance

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Ofwat has published an annual report detailing how water companies have performed against the objectives of the Board Leadership, transparency and governance principles based on the information provided in their 2019-20 annual reporting.

The water regulator reports to have found a lot of good examples of how companies are meeting the objectives of the principles but that there is scope to improve or go further.

Aileen Armstrong, Senior Director at Ofwat, commented: “Board Leadership, Transparency and Governance Objectives in companies’ licences reflect the special responsibilities regulated water companies have in providing an essential public service.

“We have seen examples of good practice, but also areas where there is room for improvement.

“We want to make sure companies live up to, and continually evolve in line with, the highest standards of governance. And companies need to be transparent about how they are doing that.”

Findings of the ‘Board leadership, transparency and governance – Report on how companies are meeting the principles’ included:

  • This year all companies clearly stated their purpose and explained the importance of their purpose in delivering an essential public service. However there is scope for annual reporting in future years to incorporate a greater focus on the impact of the purpose and of it being embedded through its strategy, values and culture.
  • Companies generally need to do more to be clearer about how their dividend policies are applied in practice when making decisions on declaring dividends.
  • While all companies acknowledged the issue of diversity at board level, the degree of recognition varied across companies.

The full report can be found on the Ofwat website.