Service quality regulationSQ2AEstablish protocols for periodic data collection on service quality
Whether the provided services correspond to defined quality standards will only be evident to regulators after being compared with data and information received from operators.
Since the information must be timely and provided on a regular basis, its systematic collection is essential for regulators to be able to perform this action.
To facilitate such a process for service operators, regulators establish sequenced protocols for data collection, analysis and respective reporting duties. In turn, the protocols allow service operators to better organize their analytical and reporting facilities and adequately respond to regulatory requirements.
Open access to these protocols and information ensures appropriate consumer awareness about the services provided.
- There is a clear procedure with templates that is easy to follow by operators.
- Operators’ costs for information provision is reduced.
- Monitoring by consumer associations is facilitated.
The Water Regulation and Monitoring Agency (ARCA) defines technical standards for the assessment and diagnosis of public drinking water and/or sanitation utilities in urban and rural areas on Ecuadorian territory, which regulate parameters and indicators for such assessments and diagnoses. For this purpose, it has implemented the following tools used by public drinking water and/or sanitation utilities for collecting and reporting information:
- The National System of Municipal Information (SNIM), through which public utilities submit their reports.
- The Administrative System for Water Regulation and Control (SARA), through which community service providers submit their reports.
A user guide was issued for each information system to obtain real and accurate information on the provision of drinking water and/or sanitation services and their improvement plans. It is an online consultation tool that can access annual report forms.
Furthermore, the ARCA regulation establishes procedures, parameters and indicators that contemplate the specific characteristics of public and community providers respectively.
The General Law on the Regulatory and Tariff Framework for the Provision of Drinking Water and Sewerage Services in the Republic of Paraguay stipulates that the Sanitary Services Regulator (ERSSAN) shall ensure compliance with the aforementioned law and the obligations of providers on the basis of the information collected by the latter as well as that which is collected through general and special inspections conducted in the service provision area or in infringement areas.
Accordingly, ERSSAN issued the Regulation for the Provision of Drinking Water and Sanitary Sewerage Services which defines the rules and guidelines for the periodic submission of information by providers. This regulation stipulates that ERSSAN is to receive monthly reports of the results obtained from quality sampling for basic parameters established for drinking water and discharges to the sanitary sewerage system and receiving water bodies. By the tenth (10th) of each month, providers must also report information related to commercial, technical, operational, administrative and financial aspects.
Lastly, the quality regulation includes technical appendices with specific forms for reporting information.
In Belgium, operators in Wallonia region implement a management system based on objectives while regulators indicate the values deemed to be suitable for the indicators, alongside factors that could influence performance.
The figure illustrates the process for collecting information and for calculating indicators for the quality of service regulation.
Ecuador. Regulatory Reporting Framework
Paraguay. Regulation for the Provision of Drinking Water and Sanitary Sewerage Services
Wallonia Water Society web page:
Internal capacities needed and the role of partners
Due to high volumes of information, this task is now digitalized, therefore requiring adequate IT capacity of regulators, sustained by appropriate monitoring, analytical and statistical abilities.
The role of anticipated partners would be to share their related capacities, notably national statistical institutions, with capacity building being sustained by development partners, the private sector, and research institutions.
Regulators’ staff must be trained in how to manage the online protocol and information supplied through it, as well as the ability to train operators’ staff on how to use the protocol.