Joint Regulators Group: shared works, shared facilities and revenue sharing - Call for inputs
- Start: 19 November 2012
- Status: Closed
- End: 17 December 2012
On 29 November 2011, HM Treasury published its National Infrastructure Plan 2011. This sought to set out a comprehensive and detailed strategy for coordinating and planning public and private investment in UK infrastructure, providing investors, builders and operators of infrastructure with transparency and commitment.
The Plan recognised the importance of taking a joined-up approach to infrastructure. It identified a series of recommendations to counteract barriers to achieving opportunities from interdependencies in delivery. In particular:
led by the Joint Regulators Group, regulators in relevant sectors will ensure regulatory frameworks do not discourage shared works, shared facilities or revenue sharing and will support mechanisms for this where consistent with regulators' statutory duties. A report on progress will be made by the end of 2012.
The Joint Regulators Group (JRG) is an association of the UK's economic and competition regulators. It meets four times a year to discuss and exchange learning on topics relevant to regulation within the UK. JRG also conducts cross-regulator working groups pooling resource and expertise to look at topics of specific interest.
One of those working groups is taking forward the recommendation cited above. JRG members recognise there can be cost-savings and other benefits (e.g. better outcomes for consumers) from coordinating projects across sectors. They also recognise this is a complex issue and there may be cases where such coordination would not generate material benefits net of any costs imposed.
At this stage, the JRG working group is seeking to identify possible issues to consider. This call for inputs invites stakeholders in the communications industries to identify any they think are relevant. Where have regulatory frameworks played a role in facilitating or hindering shared works, shared facilities and/or revenue sharing in the past? Are there examples of cross-sectoral coordination from which we might helpfully draw lessons, whether positive or negative? Are there issues we should look at within the regulatory frameworks for which we are responsible that might apply to such coordination going forward?
Annex 1 describes how to respond to this call for inputs. The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) are consulting stakeholders in the sectors they regulate to broadly similar timescales.
JRG's next step will be to consider which, if any, of the issues identified relate to the operation of regulatory frameworks for which its members are responsible. We will need to distinguish these cases from other issues that might affect cross-sectoral coordination. We also recognise some issues might not cut across multiple sectors but are instead specific to just two. These are likely to be the focus of bilateral work between participants in the sectors concerned and not considered as part of the JRG exercise.