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It is with pleasure that I present the thirteenth Annual Report of the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Western Australia) Limited (the Company).
The Board comprises seven directors: an independent chairperson, three customer representative directors, a gas industry representative director, an electricity industry representative director and a water services industry representative director.
The Board held five Board Meetings, two General Meetings and a Budget Committee Meeting during the year, as well as receiving complaint statistics and financial reports on a monthly basis.
During the year, we welcomed a new gas Member, a new electricity Member and two new water services Members. A small local government water services provider ceased to be a Member of the Company, as they were granted an exemption by the Minister for Water from section 5(1) of the Water Services Act 2012. As at 30 June 2017 there were 32 Members of the Company and a list of these Members is included in the Company Particulars section of the report.
The Board has a service agreement with the Western Australian Ombudsman who undertakes the role of the Energy and Water Ombudsman. The Board oversights the Energy and Water Ombudsman Scheme, but is not involved in the resolution of individual complaints. The Energy and Water Ombudsman provides a report to each meeting of the Board regarding the work of the Energy and Water Ombudsman.
Under the legislation governing the Water Services Ombudsman Scheme (the Scheme), the Board was required to review the Scheme before the second anniversary of its commencement. Under the legislation, the review involves consultation with the persons or bodies with an interest in the Scheme and assesses the Scheme against its legislative objectives. The Board then provides a report on the review to the Economic Regulation Authority (the ERA) and a copy to the Members of the Scheme.
The review, undertaken by an independent consultant, Cameronralph Navigator, assessed the Scheme against the following evaluation criteria:
Feedback on the Scheme was obtained through surveys or interviews from a range of stakeholders including Members and people who had made a complaint to the Energy and Water Ombudsman.
The Scheme was found to be meeting the legislative objectives and National Benchmarks and to be operating well. Complaint outcome and timeframes are appropriate. The Scheme is working well with stakeholders, whilst maintaining its independence and impartiality.
The Board submitted a report on the review to the ERA, with a copy provided to Members of the Scheme and, during the year, considered and approved an Implementation Plan to address the recommendations arising from the review.
I would like to record my thanks to my fellow Directors for their commitment to the successful operation of the Board during 2016-17. I would also like to thank the Energy and Water Ombudsman and his staff for their efforts in resolving complaints so efficiently in this thirteenth year of operation.
The Energy and Water Ombudsman’s Report, the Company Particulars, the Independent Audit Opinion and the audited Financial Statements for the Company for 2016-17 follow.
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