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Prospective boss of Ofwat to be quizzed by MPs

14 April 2022

The prospective new Chair of Ofwat, the Government’s independent water regulator, is to appear before the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee for a pre-appointment hearing.


Purpose of the session

Iain Coucher has been named by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as the Government’s preferred candidate for the role. He is former Chief Executive of Network Rail and, subsequently, Chief Executive of the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Parliamentary select committees hold pre-appointment hearings as part of their scrutiny function. A pre-appointment hearing is not a final interview for the candidate but a check on the Secretary of State to make sure they are not appointing someone who is unsuitable.

A committee can support an appointment without reservation, support it with reservations or conditions, or - in rare cases - oppose it. A committee’s recommendations are not binding on the government, but the Secretary of State is expected to consider them. 

Ofwat is a non-ministerial government department responsible for the economic regulation of the privatised water and sewage industry in England and Wales. As part of that economic regulation, one of its key roles is to set the price paid by consumers.  


Wednesday 20 April 2022 at 9.45AM

  • Iain Coucher

Further information

Image: UK Parliament/Tyler Allicock