"Help us procure a central market system to enable an open competitive retail market for non-household customers across the UK."

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Open Water is the programme entrusted by the UK Government to co-ordinate the development of the market rules, framework and systems required for an effective non-household retail market. With the passage of the Water Act 2014, the UK Government set up the legislative framework for an innovative, resilient water industry that could offer non-household customers a choice of supplier by 2017. By late summer 2014 the procurement stream of the programme – seeking to procure a central market system to enable the competitive market – was already nine months behind schedule and no decision had yet been made whether to follow a public or private procurement route.

The answer

A procurement strategy flexible enough to support either a public or private route to procurement, supported by a commercial strategy identifying how best to engage with the suppliers.

The outcome

  • Analysis and insight for the Open Water executive team supporting the decision that the a private procurement process would be more beneficial to the public.
  • A procurement strategy tailored to best practice and the specific needs of the water industry and with buy-in from Ofwat and Defra.
  • A strategic document and set of directions handed to Market Operator Services Ltd. (MOSL) (the body entrusted with delivering the operational capability needed to support the efficient operation of the new market) for the procurement stage

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