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Our assurance information

We take full responsibility for our performance information and seek to take a transparent approach to data assurance. We publish these three documents as part of our annual reporting for customers, stakeholders and regulators.

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What's the purpose of our assurance process?

Customers and other stakeholders expect that the information we present to them about our performance is accurate, accessible and fully assured. In completing our assurance plan, we have engaged with our stakeholders and will continue to do so to give confidence in the information we publish.

This assurance also provides legitimacy to our reported performance and the delivery of promises made in our business plans. By carrying out this assurance planning each year, we'll continue to build a greater level of trust and confidence in our reporting.

What does each document cover?

Data Assurance Summary

This was published in July in parallel with our Annual Performance Report and provides an overview of our assurance planning. This includes our assurance processes and commitments.

An aerial view of tanks at a wastewater treatment works

Statement of Risks, Strengths and Weaknesses and Draft Assurance Plan

This statement highlights where assurance will be most important for the reporting year and areas of reporting that have the most significance or are of greatest risk to customers. The findings from this document are central to our assurance approach and building the final plan.

A Southern Water engineer smiles and tests a water sample in a water treatment works

Final Assurance Plan

Our Final Assurance Plan is informed by the consultation on the Statement of Risks, Strengths and Weaknesses and Draft Assurance Plan. This document details our Final Assurance Plan for the reporting year.

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Key takeaways

Following past failings in the quality of our reporting, we continue to make improvements to ensure our regulators and other stakeholders can trust our data. These improvements have been led by our Risk and Assurance team, which ensures reporting to our regulators is subject to sustained internal review and appropriate assurance.

Our Final Assurance Plan is published annually in March. In it, we detail our approach to assurance in relation to our performance information. We also acknowledged the importance of accurate information in building trust and confidence.

We've adopted the ‘three lines of defence’ framework for our reporting governance and assurance activity. This framework helps to assure performance information by applying multiple levels of control. You can see a detailed explanation of this in Appendix 1 of the Data Assurance Summary.

Ultimately, all assurance activity has oversight from the Board and Audit Committee. The Audit Committee monitors the assurance over the integrity of our non-financial information reported by us in fulfilment of our regulatory, legal and environmental obligations. This includes information required by Ofwat, the Drinking Water Inspectorate and the Environment Agency. The assurance plans are approved by the Audit Committee, which is responsible for overseeing and challenging the effectiveness of our approach.