Apr 28, 2019

Southern Water faces risk of SFO investigation

One of England's biggest water companies is at risk of a Serious Fraud Office investigation following a long-running inquiry into whether it breached its "Statutory duties" on sewage treatment. Which supplies 4.6m customers in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with water and sewage services, has been under investigation by the industry regulator Ofwat over the management of its sewage plants since 2017. Ofwat is examining whether Southern Water has "Adequate financial and management resources" to enable it to fulfil its licence obligations, as well as the company's reporting of compliance information between 2010 to 2017. The SFO said it was "Aware that Ofwat has opened an investigation into Southern Water for alleged breaches" but declined to comment on whether it would pursue the case, which was first reported in the Sunday Times. Most recently Ofwat, which has been trying to tighten its grip on water companies following widespread criticism, ripped apart Southern Water's business plan for 2020-25, saying it needed to improve efficiency, performance, customer service and reporting of executive pay and dividends.

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