ERRU: Water supply problems during the merger, from debts to staff and blocked accounts

2024-04-02 15:07:00, Ekonomi CNA

ERRU: Water supply problems during the merger, from debts to staff and blocked

The reform of the aggregation or joining of water utilities to create larger and more efficient enterprises seems to have turned out to be more problematic in practice than it seemed on paper.

The Water Regulatory Authority (ERRU) has admitted that so far most of the enterprises have joined and that Tirana, Kamza and Vora remain to complete this cycle.

The latter still have unresolved technical aspects. But according to ERRU, the independent experts have encountered real problems in the field with all the water supply companies that have been included in the aggregation reform. The latter start from the simplest, such as the lack of qualified staff, to the most complex.

"The reorganization of the UK sector is a complex process which has shown many challenges and unknowns in the field during its implementation for the successful implementation of the reform.

In this context, the newly created companies were faced with a series of problems in terms of management, operation, financial situation of existing UK companies, which were noticed during their audit by independent experts and leaders of UK Regional companies" it is stated in ERRU's annual report for 2023.

But what are these problems actually? The entity has summarized them in five points.

– Non-reconciliation of arrears as a result of agreements and contractual obligations with national and international financial institutions and contracting companies for which the established regional companies are obliged to respect.

- Mismatch of the number of debtor customers in the system with those reflected in the financial balances of the existing UK.

– Lack of qualified staff in key positions of companies.

- Absence of the normal operation of the company in some cases as a result of the blocking of bank accounts due to arrears which were charged to the new regional company.

- In general, lack of regular documentation that existing UK companies should have

The entity also notes that the tariff unification towards which the companies are going to make the management simpler seems not to be possible everywhere, at least for the moment

"For some established regional companies, Durrësi, Korça, etc., the tariff unification seems premature to be realized due to the large differences between the tariffs carried from one area to another, both due to the costs of the activity and the quality of the service .

If tariffs are immediately unified in such companies, practice has shown that due to the immediate and significant increase in tariffs, the company faces a resistance from the consumers by not paying utility bills. So, as a result, the collection rate and the liquidation ability of the company, as well as the financial indicators in general, decrease," ERRU assesses./Monitor

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