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The clause inserts new section 86ZA in the Water Industry Act 1991. It enables the Secretary of State to confer a power on the chief inspector of drinking water to charge fees to incumbent water companies and licensees for the regulatory activities carried out by the Drinking Water Inspectorate. The measures make similar provisions for Welsh Ministers to confer a power on the designated person in Wales.
The clause replaces a similar power conferred by section 4 of the Public Bodies Act 2011 that was time-limited. It will enable the Drinking Water Inspectorate to continue to recover the costs of its regulatory services from the companies that benefit from them. The amount charged will be set by the chief inspector, approved each year by Ministers and subject to the annulment processes in either House or, in the case of an order made by Welsh Ministers, the National Assembly for Wales.