Northern Ireland Water told to cut costs
The regulator for utilities in Northern Ireland has assessed Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) and found it needs to cut costs by 40%.
The Utility Regular published a report on the company's performance over its first three years of trading, comparing it with other water and sewerage companies across the UK.
The Cost and Performance Report assesses NI Water's performance against targets set in the company's Strategic Business Plan 2007-2010.
NI Water was over budget, the report found, having spent £0.3 million more than budgeted.
The regulator says that progress has been made by NI Water but more needs to be achieved to ensure consumers receive value for money services.
Utility Regulator chief executive Iain Osborne, said: "The operational efficiency gap between NI Water and English and Welsh companies has been reduced from 49% to 40%.
"Whilst this shows a reduction has been achieved, it also highlights the need for a decrease in costs by 40% if NI Water is to become as efficient.
"The company must also focus on improving its data and the quality of information it holds.
"We have acknowledged that progress has been made in this area, but we will continue to work with the company to ensure commitments made to us are met."
The company was also told to improve its data and the quality of the information it stores.
The full report can be found on the Utility Regulator's website