The Water Sector Audit Unit (WSAU)
In May 2008 the WSAU was formally established within the PMU through decision of the Executive Management Board chaired by the Minister of Water and Irrigation. The WSAU has been charged with responsibility to roll out performance indicators country-wide, to monitor performance of all private and public water utilities and to provide advice in this regard. The role of WSAU will be further developed towards sector regulatory functions.
The activities of WSAU aim at protecting interests of all water users and should support the water sector institutions in ensuring further development of the water utilities towards business oriented entities focusing on operational efficiency for the benefit of all customers.
Since its formation WSAU has made several steps towards fulfilling its purpose as a forerunner for an anticipated full-fledged water regulator. The objectives of such future regulator is to ensure that water and wastewater services are delivered at fair and reasonable tariffs, to protect the short-term and long-term interests of customers, to ensure that customers receive the expected Levels of Service (LoS), to ensure the financial viability of service providers, and to provide certainty for sector investments.
PMU Al Meyyah staff members worked closely with the experts provided through the Technical Assistance Contract (IPA Energy +Water Consulting) to produce several strategic documents that outlined the development path for WSAU, elaborated on its mandate and responsibilities, and described its intended relationships and forms of interaction with different stakeholders inside and outside the Jordanian water sector.
Primarily, PMU/WSAU has ambitiously continued the development of the Performance Indicators (PIs) and Benchmarking system. Performance Indicators are a set of characteristic parameters that have been utilized to describe the operational, financial, and technical status of water service providing entities, based on measuring the variables that define an indicator. Indicators shall assist in pointing to causes of problems and deficiencies, facilitate development of improvement measures, and indicate with time the effect of the measures undertaken.
In that direction, PMU/WSAU has further refined and fine-tuned the set of adopted indicators, through testing and assessing their applicability, as per prevailing conditions and constrains in the sector. Derived and tailored from the extensive set of 138 Performance Indicators of the International Water Association (IWA), the current PIs system in PMU/WSAU holds around 35 indicators, which are open for expansion in the future, and are grouped into seven main categories, namely: Water Resources, Personnel, Physical Components, Operational, Quality of Services, Financial, and Wastewater. The system has been utilized so far to produce several annul and semi-annual performance reports for Aqaba Water Company (AWC) and Jordan Water Company – Miyahuna, while other service providing utilities in governorates will be progressively covered by the system. The development of the Performance Indicators and Benchmarking System and the Monitoring and Auditing protocol will be continued.