Service quality regulationSQ2BProduce and publish analytic reports to track progress on service quality
Information and data about service quality becomes relevant when it is accessible to the wider public.
Open access to it enables the public to be informed, while creating a competitive environment for operators. Regulators must therefore promote best practices through service quality reports, which include recommendations based on evidence and service performance.
These reports often include the definition of performance indicators, offered as steering tools and targeting results. Irrespective of its actual format, annual service quality reports, being comparative in their structure, motivate operators to achieve a higher quality of service and to improve consumer satisfaction.
- Service operators are motivated to improve performance.
- Regulators have an overview of quality service trends.
- Consumers have appropriate access to information.
In France, all water and sanitation services are publicly owned and fall within the responsibility of municipal authorities. Municipal authorities are free to choose their own method for managing the service, either by direct management or delegated management.
Whatever was chosen, the public authority remains responsible for the quality, smooth operation, and sustainability of its service. Much of this relies on regulation, through the promotion of service performance and best practices that enable operators to achieve a certain quality of service and to guarantee consumer satisfaction.
A list of 29 statutory performance indicators is to be calculated annually by each collective or non-collective sanitation and water service, with this data then collated by the observatory on public water and sanitation services.
Initiated in November 2009 by the French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (Onema), the observatory on public water and sanitation services is a tool for local authorities and service operators to help them assess general performance, improve their services, and monitor changes annually.
Internal capacities needed and the role of partners
Converting collected data into annual reports usually requires a high level of communication and public relation skills along with a solid internal regulatory understanding of the evidence. With the latter often being present, the lack of communication capacities is usually compensated by support from external partners.
These include national institutions and private sector companies that are familiar with public reporting and working with development partners. In some cases, associations may support this task. Once a template is established, such reports will be then repeated annually by regulators.